Grit is synonymous with the strong will to complete a task or accomplish a goal despite the challenges. Most recently, it has been used to predict students' academic achievement and future success.
Grit (n): courage and resolve; strength of character
Grit is synonymous with the strong will to complete a task or accomplish a goal despite the challenges. Most recently, it has been used to predict students' academic achievement and future success. Angela Lee Duckworth, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, delivered a TED Talk on grit as the key to success, where she described grit as "having passion and perseverance for very long term goals" and "living life like a marathon, not a sprint."
Grit is an element of social-emotional development and seen as a fundamental skill for living an effective life. Through engaging, student-centered enrichment activities, students can learn important skills, such as perseverance and resilience, outside of the regular school day. Here are four ways to build grit in after school:
- Present students with challenges that take them out of their comfort zones and increase their frustration.
- Observe students' reactions and help to guide and motivate those who are easily discouraged or defeated.
- Encourage students to set goals for themselves and demonstrate how to actively work towards achieving those goals.
- Help students understand the "growth mindset," and as explained by Duckworth in her TED Talk, that "the ability to learn is not fixed; it can change with your effort."
Grit is an essential quality for students to succeed in school and life. Use these tips to help students develop grit in your after school program.