Our word for this term is ‘Grit’ and forms an integral part of The Character Initiative.
What is grit?
Grit is the passion, perseverence and stamina for long term goals. Viewing life as a marathon, not a sprint.
Up until recently, educators have focussed on student’s cognitive development, things that can be tested by standardised tests, like IQ or maths. However, research suggests that qualities other than cognitive attributes are essential for students to achieve in the long term – grit and determination have more of an impact on success than innate intelligence or raw talent.
Researchers in the mid-80s (Bloom 1985) undertook a qualitative study of the development of world-class pianists, neurologists, swimmers, chess players, mathematicians and sculptors. Only a few (of the 120 in the sample) were regarded as prodigies by their teachers, parents or experts. Instead these individuals had worked day after day, for between 10 and 15 years to reach the pinnacle of their careers. Bloom observed that in every field the qualities possessed by the high achievers included a strong interest in their chosen field, a desire to reach a higher level and a willingness to put in great amounts of time and effort.
More recently, Professor of Psychology, Angela Duckworth, has sought to discover the link between grit and success. Watch this video to find out about the surprising outcomes of her studies.
How can we teach our children grit?
Unlike IQ, grit in something that can be developed in your child. Firstly, Growth Mindset is key. Children who have developed a strong growth mindset are more likely to persevere when they fail, because they don’t take it personally, instead they see it as an opportunity to learn from their mistakes.
Challenge your child
Instead of jumping in with a solution, talk through the problem: “What do you think might work instead?” This allows the child to develop their problems solving skills.
How gritty are you?
Why not see how gritty you are by taking Angela Duckworth’s test here.