Check out Angela Lee Duckworth’s TED Talk entitled, “The Key to Success? GRIT.”

Duckworth is a psychologist who has studied factors governing success and has concluded that “grit” is a huge one.  Grit is defined as having the passion and perseverance to meet long term goals, despite tremendous hardship.  People with grit believe goal achievement is a marathon, not a sprint.  Duckworth believes that grit, unrelated to talent, trumps IQ when it comes to academic achievement.

Duckworth also discusses the problem of how to develop grit in students.  She refers to Mindset, The New Psychology of Success, Dr. Carol Dweck’s work, which supports teaching students about brain plasticity as a means of promoting a growth mindset, which in turn, fosters the trait of grit.  With an appreciation of the concept of brain plasticity, students no longer understand failure as a permanent condition, so they are more motivated to persevere.

GRIT and GROWTH MINDSET are two concepts worth teaching, especially for students who face learning challenges.  Food for thought.

PS: Your “grit score” can predict whether you make the final round of the National Spelling Bee!  Finalists are often kids who have been eliminated in previous years, but who went home to study even harder. True grit.