Semester 1 Theme “GRIT” – The Significance of Grit: Research by Angela Lee Duckworth

People who can set long-term goals and stick to them have a leg up on success in school and life.

For the last 11 years, Angela Lee Duckworth of the University of Pennsylvania has been conducting groundbreaking studies on grit—the quality that enables individuals to work hard and stick to their long-term passions and goals.

How do we use this concept to help our students?

Angela Lee Duckworth introduces this theme through a Ted Talks YouTube clip.  She gives us a much better understanding of students and learning from a motivational and psychological perspective.

Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela took a job teaching Mathematics to 7th Graders.

She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “GRIT” as a predictor of success.

In education the one thing we know how to measure best is IQ but what if doing well in school and life depends on much more than your ability to learn easily and quickly?

Let’s learn more….

As Angela indicates…someone who shows GRIT is someone who demonstrates passion and perseverance. They have stamina day in day out, not just for the month but for years!  “You need to live life like it is a marathon, not a sprint” says Angela.

Angela argues that studies have shown that when students learn about the brain and how it changes and grows in response to challenge, they are much more likely to persevere when they fail. They do not believe that failure is a permanent condition.

Grit seems to be related to Carol Dweck’s work on a growth mind-set, says Angela. Carol has studied the benefits of teaching students that intelligence is not fixed, but is something that can develop. Do you think the same is true of grit? And should we help young people see that they can develop grit, that it’s not just something you’re born with?

We have to be willing to fail and to be wrong and start over again with lessons learnt.

 “In other words we need to be gritty about getting our children grittier”.

A Riddell



2022 Term Dates