Larisa A. White on Mountain Top
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Educational Services

Academic Coaching

Over decades of educational research, teaching, and educational program evaluation, Dr. White has noticed patterns in the ways that students study, learn, and communicate — or fail to — and why. When students struggle, the subject material, while sometimes challenging, is rarely the root cause of their struggle. More often than not, the student lacks specific academic metaskills that are needed for mastering complex material, such as:

When working one-on-one with students, Dr. White diagnoses the underlying causes of a student’s struggles, then teaches both the academic metaskills and the specific subject-area content, as needed by each student.

Subject Area Tutoring

Academic subjects for which Dr. White provides instruction and private tutoring include:

First Steps

To schedule an appointment for an initial assessment, to discuss your student's specific educational challenges and needs, and to determine how Dr. White can best serve your family, and help your student to thrive and succeed, please contact her via email. Meetings can be held via Zoom, or in person for families residing on the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula.

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Articles on Teaching & Learning
by Larisa A. White, M.S.Ed., Ph.D.

Short, friendly, easy-to-read introductions to some of the academic metaskills, and the neuroscience that backs them up.

color inversion of a red sunset Polka Dots & Sunbeams
The role of immediate memory in learning

tinker toy model of a mental schema Tinker Toy Traffic
An introduction to working memory function

children playing on jungle gym Recess!
How to improve working memory function

Pauling's preserved blackboard Explore Mode
How to avoid cognitive overload

painting of a young woman sleeping with her head on a book Nap Time
The role of sleep in long-term memory

an Indian man doing a yoga asana Perfect Practice
The role of daily rehearsal in learning

a burnt pancake on a white plate, on a green tablecloth Burnt Pancakes
The role of failure in learning

About Dr. Larisa A. White



Educational Philosophy:

sunshine on colored chalk Student Learning Is Facilitated
A philosophical essay, by Dr. Larisa A. White, on the proper role-relationship between teacher and student

A Lifetime in Education

Larisa has been teaching students for over 30 years. She has taught biology, chemistry, physics, and technology courses as a credentialed public school teacher in New York State. She has taught freshman physics at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Intro to Engineering & Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. She has developed new curriculum materials, and introduced new teaching methods in secondary and post-secondary classrooms, to increase the interest and achievement levels of both gifted and struggling students in math, science, and engineering.

As an educational consultant, Larisa has evaluated educational programs at universities and public schools across the USA. She has taught workshops for high school and university faculty on instructional design and assessment techniques. She has also worked one-on-one with scores of struggling students and their families, diagnosing the reasons behind their struggles, and teaching the cognitive, social, and emotional metaskills needed to excel in math, science, engineering, and writing.

In her work as an academic researcher, Larisa has explored the ways in which people learn, grow, and change under the influence of changing educational, cultural, and technological contexts; she has studied the neurobiology of learning; and she has investigated the ways in which people interpret and interact with nature.

Larisa is also an author, and an active member of the Authors Guild, for which she served as the 2022-23 Authors Guild Ambassador to the San Francisco Bay Area. Her articles have appeared in a variety of magazines, academic journals, and conference proceedings; and in 2021, she published her first, critically acclaimed book on the modern, nature-based spiritual tradition of Druidry. She is currently writing a second book, Mastering the Metaskills: A Lifelong Learner's Guide to Resilience in a Changing World.

Larisa currently teaches and writes in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she spends her free time with her husband and son, building wildlife habitats, and restoring native ecosystems on lands once lovingly tended by the Ramaytush Ohlone.

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