Developing Grit In Our Students

August 20, 2014

Introduction

 

Why do most individuals make use of only a small percentage of their resources, whereas a few exceptional individuals push themselves to their limits? Why do some individuals accomplish more than others of equal intelligence? One personal quality that is shared by most high achieving and successful people is grit. Grit may be the quality that sets these highly successful individuals apart from everyone else (Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews & Kelly, 2007).

 

There has been a lot of talk recently about grit and how to develop it within our students. Grit is the quality that enables individuals to work hard and stick to their long-term passions and goals. It makes sense that this would be important for students, both in school and in life. Can one learn to have grit? How do you teach it? These are some of the essential questions that will be addressed in this research brief with the hope that you will gain a deeper understanding of what is meant by “grit,” and that you will discover a couple new ways to encourage students to be more “gritty.”

 

According to leading researcher, Angela Duckworth, grit can probably be taught. “Kids may have the wrong beliefs and have misunderstandings about skill development…beliefs that stand in the way of tapping into performance traits.” When students struggle with a task, they may believe that they lack the ability to solve the problem and, therefore, give up. It is important for students to understand that it is ok to feel confused when learning something new, and actually, it is expected. We can teach students that making mistakes or taking a long time to complete an assignment is a normal part of learning, not a sign of failure.

 

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