Grit Gets Gritty
It seems some in education have taken away misconstrued conclusions about Angela Lee Duckworth’s research. An Education Week article wrongly states that schools concerned with Grit seek to cultivate personality traits in students. Instead Grit is concerned with fostering their interests, passions and ultimately career paths. These are things each student is capable of irrespective of their racial and socioeconomic background. Perhaps for a more clear understanding we should first understand what Angela Lee Duckworth means by Grit.
“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in – day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon not a sprint.” – Angela Lee Duckworth taken from her TED Talk “The Key to Success? Grit”
Grit is not about minority kids having to work harder than more affluent peers as it is about working hard, period, and focusing on your goals. Angela Duckworth’s research is about the belief that the ability to learn is not fixed, that it can change with effort. While some kids may have it tougher than others, what will never be lost is their potential. The concepts highlighted in Grit exist to support all students and acknowledge that educators need a better understanding of students and learning from a motivational and psychological perspective.