Grit Isn’t Ready For High-Stakes Measures


Reposted from nprEd:

Angela Duckworth, the scientist most closely associated with the concept of “grit,” is trying to put on the brakes. In a new paper published in the journalEducational Researcher, the University of Pennsylvania psychologist, and her colleague David Scott Yeager at the University of Texas at Austin, argue that grit isn’t ready for prime time, if prime time means high-stakes tests.

“I feel like the enthusiasm is getting ahead of the science,” Duckworth said in an interview. “I’m hearing about school district superintendents getting very interested in things like character and grit, and wanting to evaluate teachers based on them.” That, she says, would be gravely premature.

Here’s the problem. Much of grit research is based on self-reporting. That is, if you want to find out whether someone is gritty, you simply ask them to grade themselves on statements such as, “I am a hard worker.” Over large populations and in repeated experiments, Duckworth has found significant correlations between self-ratings on her12-item “grit scale” and people’s actual accomplishments.

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1905: Einstein’s Miracle Year [VIDEO 5:16]

As the year 1905 began, Albert Einstein faced life as a “failed” academic. Yet within the next twelve months, he would publish four extraordinary papers, each on a different topic, that were destined to radically transform our understanding of the universe. In this Ted-Ed talk, Larry Lagerstrom details these four groundbreaking papers, making the case for how grit, resilience and a growth mindset can not only change one’s personal destiny, but indeed the destiny of civilization!

Does Teaching Kids To Get “Gritty” Help Them Get Ahead?


Reposted from npr Ed:

Tom Hoerr leads the New City School, a private elementary school in St. Louis that has also been working on grit. “One of the sayings that you hear around here a great deal is, ‘If our kids have graduated from here with nothing but success, then we have failed them, because they haven’t learned how to respond to frustration and failure.’ ”

After years of focusing on the theory known as “multiple intelligences” and trying to teach kids in their own style, Hoerr says he’s now pulling kids out of their comfort zones intentionally. “The message is that life isn’t always easy,” Hoerr says. His goal is to make sure “that no matter how talented [students are], they hit the wall, so they can learn to pick themselves up, hit the wall again and pick themselves up again, and ultimately persevere and succeed.”It is a major adjustment for everyone — perhaps most of all for parents. “It’s really easy to talk about in the abstract,” Hoerr says. “Parents love the notion of grit; they all want their kids to have it. However … no parent wants their kid to cry.”

The focus is always more on putting out effort than on getting the right answers. Teachers have been trained to change the way they see students, and how they speak to them. Kids no longer hear “You’re so smart!” or “Brilliant!” Rather, teachers praise students for their focus and determination. “You must have worked really hard!” or “To have performed this well, you must have put out a lot of effort.” The adjustment isn’t always easy for teachers trained to focus on hitting high scores on standardized tests. “It’s really hard in certain subject areas to say that your process is more important than your product,” says science teacher Nicole Trubnikov. “But that is the underlying principle of this program — to say that it’s all the effort that you put in that’s most important.”

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The Importance of Grit [INFOGRAPHIC]


The Department of Education is recognizing the importance of grit by calling for educational programs that will help students of all ages develop this key characteristic. While formal programs to develop grit are still in the early stages of discussion and design, there are things you can do every day to cultivate your inner grit. This Importance of Grit infographic created by WorldWideLearn looks at the reasons it is important to add grit, and the things you can do to develop it. Do you have what it takes to thrive in the 21st century?

View the original post here.

Good Grit vs. Bad Grit


Reposted from Leadership Freak:

I’ve been the victim of bad grit. You have too. We’ve put our heads down, closed our minds, and plowed forward. In the process we hurt ourselves and others. Bad grit is one reason last year’s frustrations persist.

Paul Stoltz says, “Good grit is the relentless pursuing of things that are ultimately beneficial to you and (ideally) others. Bad grit is the opposite.” There are four dimensions of GRIT:

  • Growth: Your propensity to seek and consider new ideas, additional alternatives, different approaches, and fresh perspectives.
  • Resilience: Your capacity to respond constructively and ideally make good use of all kinds of adversity.
  • Instinct: Your gut-level capacity to pursue the right goals in the best and smartest ways.
  • Tenacity: The degree to which you persist, commit to, stick with, and relentlessly go after whatever you choose to achieve.

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Should Schools Teach Grit?


Reposted from the New York Times:

Self-control, curiosity, “grit” — these qualities may seem more personal than academic, but at some schools, they’re now part of the regular curriculum. Some researchers say personality could be even more important than intelligence when it comes to students’ success in school. But critics worry that the increasing focus on qualities like grit will distract policy makers from problems with schools.

Mandy Benedix, who teaches a class on grit at Rogers Middle School in Pearland, Tex., said: “We know that these noncognitive traits can be taught. We also know that it is necessary for success. You look at anybody who has had long-term sustainable success, and every one of them exhibited at some point this grit, this tenacity to keep going.”

One result of the class, which includes lessons on people, like Malala Yousafzai, who have overcome significant challenges: Students “are now willing to do the hard thing instead of always running to what was easy.” Ms. Benedix also coordinates a districtwide grit initiative — since it began, she says, the number of high schoolers taking advanced-placement classes has increased significantly.

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We Need to be Gritty about Getting our Kids Grittier [VIDEO 3:12]

“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future.” So begins this energetic three minute talk by Angela Duckworth as part of a longer TED talk. She describes her initial work studying grit in students attending Chicago Public Schools. According to the data she collected over that first year, grittier kids were much more likely to graduate. It was a better indicator than IQ or household income level or standardized achievement test scores. And it has nothing to do with having specific gifts or talents. In fact, grit may be inversely proportional to talent. The best indicator for being able to develop grit in kids? having a growth mindset. As she summarizes her remarks, she proclaims, “We need to be gritty about getting our kids grittier!”


Howard Gardner: Transforming Common Non-Sense [VIDEO 7:44]

Eight Harvard Ed School faculty members were allotted eight minutes each to present their bold ideas for impact. In this video, Dr. Howard Gardner re-examines wit (intelligence) and grit (persistence) and extends the discussion of non-cognitive skills to defining what it means to be a good person, a good worker and a good citizen. Using the triple helix of excellence, ethics and engagement, Gardner shares the findings of his Good Work Project and recommends his Good Work Toolkit. He concludes with the tweet, “Multiple wits and good grit at all ages around the world.”

Visit the Official Authoritative Site of Multiple IntelligenceS (MI Oasis)

Howard Gardner: What is Good in Education

good work

Reposted from the Washington Post:

Academic and other forms of intelligence are clearly important. But in recent years, it’s increasingly recognized that other human capacities are also relevant, and they have been dubbed “non-cognitive skills.” Typically included on the list are such valued capacities as empathy, kindness, and imaginativeness. Topping the list these days is the capacity dubbed “grit.” Brought to public awareness by psychologist Angela Duckworth and journalist Paul Tough, grit denotes perseverance, stick-to-ited-ness, and the daily, weekly, and yearly accumulation of valued skills and personal traits.

Clearly, grit alone is not enough. We need to encourage grit that is directed, honestly and publicly, to positive societal ends; and to unmask grit that has been mobilized in damaging directions, whether en route to a pointless war or to unfairly rewarded manipulators of facts, figures, and fuel fees. As part of our research endeavors, my colleagues and I have created “The Good Project” and “The GoodWork Toolkit.” These efforts, along with those of many individuals, groups, and organizations around the world, seek to modify the value-neutral term “grit” with the adjective “good.” Indeed, a multiple intelligences school in Manila, Philippines, has a curriculum which deliberately melds good work to the use of each intelligence. It also awards citizens who exemplify good work in one or other of the several intelligences.

I’ve left room for one other element in my opening question: what does it mean to “succeed?” Of course, it is crucial to unpack this word, and to indicate whether success means accumulated wealth and/or worldwide fame and/or personal pleasures; or whether it entails caring for family and friends, or helping to build a better, fairer, more sustainable community, society, or planet. Few individuals are going to frankly announce a purely selfish definition of success; only disinterested others can judge how each of us actually conceptualizes and pursues success. My own hope: success lies in serving well the several communities in which we live.

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