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GRIT is something that needs to be understood by both parents and students and should be conveyed by teachers.
Asociatyvi nuotr.
Asociatyvi nuotr.
© Shutterstock

There has been a GRIT survey compiled by Penn State University, in the USA which asks older students, those that may be thinking of taking the IB diploma programmes to establish how much ‘grit’ they may have. However, this should also be understood by parents – what is it? Who has it? Why is it important?

Before going further into this, I am just going to touch on two approached to teaching and learning that help with self-management, which also assist with this

1) Organisational skills: calendar breakdowns, events, check-backs, ‘internal’ deadlines as a policy with consequences which is mainly the role of the Careers Guidance Counsellor

2) Affective skills: psychologist – to help with the management of stress, self-motivation and mindfulness.

Back to the GRIT survey:

Questions will range from a scale of 1-5, 1 being the least gritty and 5 being the highest, asking questions like 'how diligent are you?'.

Answers can vary from 'very', 'somewhat', 'a little', 'not much', 'not like me at all'. Or, when you start a topic or project that lasts for a few months are you likely to complete it or lose interest before the end?

The end result, dependent on your age, gender and education will assess how ‘gritty’ you are. This information and data are then compared by percentage to the average American citizen.

According to Marissa Peer, UK worldwide psychologist there are 4 more secrets to help build self-discipline

1) You start your day doing the thing you hate or dread the most;

2) Take an action every day in the direction of your desired goal, no matter how small;

3) Delay gratification until after the task is completed;

4) Praise yourself, strengthen your praise muscle, not many people do that today.

So, what is GRIT? It’s the perseverance, tenacity, determination, resilience to whatever your circumstances, irrelevant to a degree of IQ scores are that are going to get you to your desired goal in the end.

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do” RIGHT_BRACKETPeleLEFT_BRACKET.

Research has also shown that talent doesn’t make you ‘gritty’, in fact, grittier kids are more likely to graduate regardless of their economic, social or learning circumstances.

Why? According to Carol Dweck from Stanford University, there is the Growth Mindset Belief, which stresses the ability to learn is not fixed, it can change with effort. That is what having GRIT mean, you have the stamina to complete the marathon and not just the sprint.

The upshot – we need as teachers and schools and parents to be gritty about getting our kids ‘grittier’.

A lot of people out there, still believe it is breeding, talent, luck that leads those into success, however, research is now showing, some above, that it is true GRIT that is getting us to reach our desired goals regardless of our circumstances. Definitely something to think about.

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