For education purposes, "Grit," is loosely defined as persistence over time to overcome challenges and accomplish big goals (Duckworth, 2013; Shechtman, DeBarger, Dornsife, Rosier, & Yarnall, 2013). The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) will begin aggregating data on students' grit, and desire for learning as well as other non-cognitive factors in 2017.
Washington D.C.'s Valerie Strauss's recent report on the ongoing buzz about"grit" invites readers to consider whether grit can or should be taught. While research has shown that giving students challenging goals helps galvanize effort and persistence, is it in a student's best interest to persevere in a discipline in which she lacks cognitive ability? Some, like Angela L. Duckworth, the University of Pennsylvania researcher who popularized "grit," say yes! It is a topic that is unlikely to find consensus anytime soon, but is well worth investigating and joining the conversation.
By: Lisa Waugh