Grit in the Classroom – EdNews Daily

rit has been celebrated and critiqued by many in academic circles and the academic press, but the conversation has remained largely focused on the work and opinions of researchers. Less attention has been given to the day-to-day experiences of educators who are working to strengthen students’ grit and incorporate grit into classroom curricula. Many students, particularly those from some of the most challenging circumstances, already possess grit. What they overcome everyday is a matter of great resilience. The key is to help students connect that and other forms of grit to meaningful academic work and develop that grit further within an academic and college readiness context. Grit Defined Angela Duckworth, a professor of psychology at University of Pennsylvania, developed the concept of grit through research on the skills that help students succeed. In her TED Talk on the subject, she defined grit as “passion and perseverance for very long-term goals” and said, “Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Paul Tough, the author of “How Children Succeed” and “Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why,” has also developed and popularized the concept.   Some have questioned the validity of the idea of grit. Many have claimed the research is impossible to replicate and that grit can never be measured. Regardless of personal opinion, the implications these opinions have on the classroom, as well as standardized testing, should not be ignored. I believe in grit. I believe it refers to key non-cognitive factors such as resilience, persistence, and growth mindset, traits that are critical to students’ success. And, yes, I believe that teachers, tutors, and mentors can impact the grit of individual students. Rather than focusing students on sprints — short-term bursts of academic work and attention — we want to coach them to run the marathon of preparing for long-term college and career success and deferring immediate gratification for the value of that larger prize. The idea of grit can help us change that. Teaching Grit  In practice, a key indicator of grit is students’ quit rate on difficult tasks. Students show grit when they accept error, even failure, as a necessary prerequisite to learning and progress. To understand each student’s level of grit, observe how long students maintain their attempts on difficult tasks. Look at how many ways they try to solve problems. Do they apply multiple approaches to address a difficult question? On a math problem, this might look like laying out the information graphically or trying another method of arriving at the answer. On a reading passage, this could include annotating the text, taking notes on the most important aspects or looking up difficult words. Students don’t develop these skills in a vacuum: teachers introduce them and encourage students to use these tools in their work. Teaching grit doesn’t require a new class or unit — it can be compatible with much in our current education system. At Academic Approach, we also believe in improving grit through tutoring and mentorship. The fact is that grit is an essential component [...]

By |2016-12-19T15:44:26+00:00December 19, 2016|News, Press|Comments Off on Grit in the Classroom – EdNews Daily

On the Front Line of Teaching ‘Grit:’ The Battle to Stop Students from Quitting – Education World

Grit, a term that emerged single-handedly from the work of University of Pennsylvania psychology professor Angela Duckworth, became an instant refresher for the argument that character education and non-cognitive skills have a place in education. But just as quickly as the term was popularized did it begin to receive criticism. Some argued that the grit phenomenon "romanticizes hardship" and distracts from what poor students really need to succeed. Others have argued against fully buying into the idea without sufficient research that proves it actually improves student achievement. Duckworth herself criticized the education community for using her research to promote high-stakes character assessment in this New York Times op-ed. However, whether you prefer to use the recently-popular term "grit" or prefer more old-fashioned terms like "perseverance" and "commitment," it doesn’t change the fact that helping students to continue trying despite being presented with challenges and difficulties will help them succeed. This is according to Matthew Pietrafetta, founder of the test preparation and tutoring center Academic Approach. Pietrafetta has been helping students by not only offering one-on-one tutoring services, but by also working directly with school leaders and faculty to provide instructional support for school-wide student success. For Pietrafetta, "teaching grit" can be defined as figuring out how to coach students through difficult moments in learning—moments that every student will encounter regardless of their ability or learning style. And unlike many, Pietrafetta doesn't believe this is anything new but rather something that educators inherently work with all the time. "Whether you know it or not as an educator—you're involved in coaching around mindset, around grit, around resilience," Pietrafetta says. Now, he says, it's important to focus on how educators are doing this by asking questions like: "How do educators provide opportunities for students to learn to have tools to show growth mindset, show resilience, show grit? How do we teach students to receive information in that moment and react with growth mindset rather than statically?" Finding the answer to these questions can be done by delving deeper into analysis of student work, especially on tests, to analyze their behavior and see how this analysis can be used to help them improve. Simplified, Pietrafetta says, a student will always react to lower than anticipated achievement based on one of two mindsets, as defined by the work of psychologist Carol Dweck. Static Mindset: "Oh gosh, that's who I am, I'll always and forever always be that." Growth Mindset: "That's interesting, I know I can do better than that, what do I need to improve? Can we go look at that math section? . . . Can you help me?" Figuring out which mindset a student has is critical to helping students succeed. For students with a static mindset, it's critical to figure out how to get them to stop quitting and keep trying—to be "gritty." Pietrafetta offers two examples of ways to effectively determine where a student stands. One way, he says, is by taking a look at their respective "quit rate." A quit rate is found by analyzing how many times a student got to a [...]

By |2022-02-04T17:23:52+00:00December 19, 2016|News, Press|Comments Off on On the Front Line of Teaching ‘Grit:’ The Battle to Stop Students from Quitting – Education World
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