Teaching Grit Cultivates Resilience and Perseverance



>>Amy: Kenny is a student
that participated in my grit program last year. >>Kenny: This is my evaporator. >>Amy: He's a perfect example
of a ten year old with grit. In New Hampshire, we do a lot
of sugaring, which is the term for making maple sugar and
it's a whole ton of work. >>Kenny: This one's actually
kind of– got some in it, rrrr. >>Amy: And he does it all on his
own and he'll collect the sap with the steers, boil the sap and
then get the end result of the syrup. >>Kenny: Easy. >>Amy: He will be able to accomplish
anything that he sets his mind to. >>I'm Amy Lyon and my goal is to
spread the good word about grit. >>Angela: Grit is a disposition
to pursue very long term goals with passion and perseverance. It shouldn't look the same
in a four year old as it does in a forty year old, because
developmentally, at the beginning of life, your job is to figure
out what you're gonna do, the little place that you're
gonna hold in the world and how you're going to
add value and survive. And I think children are
exploring lots of things. >>My goal is to pitch more strikes. >>To become a better short stop. >>To lift a slap shot. >>To get a ninety in math. >>To hit the bull's eye. >>To find diamonds in Minecraft. >>My goal's to draw better dinosaurs. >>My goal's working on division. >>Amy: I was introduced to
grit through an article called "The Secret to Success is Failure." Angela Duckworth was mentioned. She had been studying this topic of
Grit and it made a whole lotta sense for me, because Angela had defined
it and was able to measure it, but nobody had really talked
about teaching it yet. >>I want three examples of goals that
you could think about for yourself that are years out from now. >>Student: Making it on the
A team for my first year in middle school, for
the baseball team. >>Amy: Okay. >>Student: Getting into
a really good college. >>Amy: Yeah, you guys can
be thinking about that now. Did you know that the United
States has the most kids accepted in the college, but we also
have the highest dropout rate. What does that tell you? >>Student: That we give up easily? >>Amy: We give up too
easily, don't we? >>I think a lot of schools tend
to incorporate the idea of Grit, but I don't know that there's
actually direct instruction to lead kids to become grittier. So that's why I tried to do,
was to create a curriculum that would get right
to the heart of grit and have kids practice becoming
grittier throughout the year. >>Student: Steady persistence in
a course of action, a purpose, especially in spite of difficulties,
obstacles or discouragement. >>Student: When you're discouraged
or there's a bunch of things that are going on, it's hard to
focus and say to yourself, "Well, I know it's a hard time right
now, but I'll get through it." And not a lotta people can do
that, and it's a really good thing to know how to do, because
there's so many things people give up on that are just so easy. >>Amy: If you're setting
a far off goal, if you're setting a goal that's
years and years and years out, it may not be an easy track. Things will get in the way, for
sure and you have to figure out how to manage them, deal with them, move on and keep working
towards your goal. And that's what resiliency is about. >>Angela: It's never too early to
start thinking about, you know, how do we teach kids how to set
goals, how to stick with goals, how to stay persistent
in the face of temptation and distraction and adversity? And the idea is that if you can
put those skills in place early on, that's just as important as teaching
a child how to, you know, read, how to write, how to count. We read lots and lots of articles. We think about research designs,
but teachers have a different kind of knowledge and it's
been really profitable, in particular with our partnership
with, for example, the KIPP schools, where we've been doing
research for five years. Many of our research ideas were
truly a marriage of insights from KIPP staff, married with our
scientific expertise together. >>Beth: People who have
self-control have a lot more power to change their future, to reach
the goals that they want to reach. >>When we decided to integrate
grit into our curriculum, one of the first concerns
was, "Where am I gonna fit it in my otherwise very busy day?" But what it turns out is,
you're doing it already. Every time you teach children
the process of writing and generating ideas and sticking
with writing over a long period of time and revising, that's
teaching them the skills that they need to have grit. It's probably all around you and
the trick is to just highlight it and make your students
more conscious of it. That will help them
develop grit themselves. >>Angela: It's been said,
the point of life is to love, to be loved and to be useful. I think grit is very important, at
least for that third thing, right? To be useful, to be useful
to our fellow human beings, and kids have a natural instinct. When you give a six
year old a task to do, "Can you please clear the table?" and they successfully do that and
you praise them for doing that, it makes them feel terrific. And I think it makes them
actually feel more terrific than an ice cream cone. And as we get older and
older, I think the importance of being useful becomes
more and more salient to us. So I think for kids, you know,
the idea of being gritty enough to learn something, to master it,
so that you can be good at it, that you can be useful, is very
important, no matter what it is that in fact you choose to do.

7 thoughts on “Teaching Grit Cultivates Resilience and Perseverance”

  1. Angela Duckworth released a new book last week (May 2016), and I really appreciate how she is speaking now about the importance of including passion in the grit equation and cautioning educators not to forget the passion part. Grit = Passion + Perseverance! This article sums it up well: http://sciof.us/1VUHJCX

  2. Project based learning i think is an ideal way of empowering learners with knowledge and skills of solving life problems. This is good

  3. teaching music has always worked to teach grit even with the youngest students, they get the sense of both long term and short term goals because they can see, hear and feel the changes they are learning.   Teaching music includes teaching "practicing" too so  music education has always embodied the passion and perseverance. I am  glad to see this pathway spreading its wings into the broader world of how we educate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *