Friday, February 27, 2015

Teaching Grit

I've enjoyed getting to know a bit about University of Pennsylvania Psychology Professor Angela Duckworth's work on "grit." Duckworth and her co-authors call grit "perseverance and passion for long-term goals," and they claim that grit can be predictive of certain types of success.  

Can we, as educators, teach grit? If so, how? Duckworth asks, but doesn't fully answer these questions in her popular TED talk. She does, however, think Stanford Psychology Professor Carol Dweck's work on growth mindset, which I wrote about a few months ago, offers the most hope.

Do readers have any thoughts on this subject? Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me your thoughts.

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This is a great topic, Haskell -- thanks for raising it. Stanford's center on academic mindsets, PERTS, has recently developed a beta version of a Mindset Kit to help people learn about a growth mindset and how to help students develop it. It's available at Much of the content is directed towards k-12, but there's lots of general info and video links that are useful for any age.

A good friend of mine is part of the amazing team at PERTS - I know they welcome feedback from teachers, so please feel free to send it my way or I can send you more info about contacting PERTS.

Posted by: Elizabeth Pollman | Mar 3, 2015 12:08:48 PM

Thanks, Elizabeth. I will pass this on to the number of K-12 educators in my family and I think the general information may be helpful as I attempt to communicate this research to my undergraduate and graduate students. Much appreciated.

Posted by: Haskell Murray | Mar 3, 2015 12:33:02 PM

I'm confident that--over time--I learned that grit and stick-to-it-tiveness were very important. Not sure if I was taught it or how I came to believe it to be the case. But, anecdotally, it definitely seems learnable.

Maybe my parents deserve the credit for not letting me quit playing the cello when I was a kid... I'm a terrible cellist, but perhaps it set the stage for my future success (such as it is).

Posted by: Matthew Bruckner | Mar 4, 2015 5:51:50 PM

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