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Promoting Grit & Perseverance

September 22, 2013

Grit 2

One of the “new” skills that educational research is pointing to as a key indicator of success really isn’t a new skill at all.  Grit… Tenacity…. Perseverance… are all attributes that can lead a student achieve success in school and in life.

Some of characteristics or dispositions of Grit include:

  • Perseverance and Tenacity
  • Deliberate Practice
  • Ability to Delay Gratification
  • Passion-Driven Focus
  • Self Control and Self Discipline
  • Long Term Goal-Oriented
  • Stick-to-it-ness Under Difficult Conditions
  • Consistency of Effort

Awareness of grit can raised by first, teaching students about grit and then by helping them reflect on their level of grit.  This can occur through discussions, writing or journaling, or through some form of artistic expression – a series of drawings, photos, or videos about examples of when and how they experience sustained and deliberate practice, consistency of effort, and ability to delay gratification.

Grit can also be practiced through having students do long term project-based learning activities and/or working on long term independent studies based on their interests and passions.

The U.S. Department of Education released a report in February called Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century.

The report has good information, however, I feel like the attributes have always been critical.  Many of us have had teachers, coaches, parents and mentors who have taught us that life is not about the challenges we face, it’s about our response to those challenges.

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