Parents who are looking for every opportunity to ensure their child has the best education possible to ensure a successful future in an uncertain and rapidly changing world must not underestimate the importance of grit.
Angela Duckworth, a professor of psychology believes that grit counts twice as much as a key to success over talent. Some modern psychologists and educators believe that grit is more important than high intelligence or outstanding academic grades at school.
‘A bias towards finishing what you begin rather than leaving it half finished, are actually characteristics of some of the most successful people in the world’ says Professor Duckworth.
Here at the LINQ Academy we understand and appreciate the importance of teaching our young students the value of hard work and the importance of developing resilience when grappling with a new idea, skill, problem or challenge. Perseverance teaches students to continue with the challenge, despite the obstacles.
However, Duckworth’s research has found that perseverance is actually only half of the equation to create grit. She also states that to have grit, you also need to find your work interesting, important and meaningful and so students need to develop a passion or real love of learning to develop true grit. Passion encourages people to work hard and persist with challenge for longer and as a result, people can achieve excellence.
For educators wanting to cultivate grit within their students, they need to encourage and find opportunities for their students to try something that is of challenge, something they are not capable of; yet. They need to encourage the challenge and struggle, and support the perseverance to stick with the challenge. Educators need to share examples of their own struggles and challenges so children can see that grit comes from sustained persistence and self-control to stick with it, and that this learning can take many months.
Students also need to understand that sometimes learning comes with plenty of practice and applying feedback during this practice. Self-control and will-power to break the task into smaller manageable goals, or baby steps, will promote success, and will allow students to understand they can train their brains to achieve and be successful.
Finally, educators also need to encourage the real passion and love for learning, as well as a curiosity to discover and learn new things. It is this blend of passion and perseverance that will cultivate grit to future proof the learners in our classrooms.