Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Educational Buzzwords...G: Grit

What is it?
From How Children Succeed
"There is no antipoverty tool we can provide for disadvantaged young people that will be more valuable than the character strengths…[such as] conscientiousness, grit, resilience, perseverance, and optimism."
  • non-cognitive skills are learnable habits, not in-born traits;
  • the two non-cognitive skills that seem to get the biggest bang for the buck are grit and self-control
"The tendency to sustain perseverance and passion for challenging long-term goals" ~Angela Duckworth

KIPP School says...
A student with grit, specifically, will:
  • finish whatever he or she begins;
  • try very hard even after experiencing failure;
  • work independently with focus.
How does that look in a classroom...
My go-to guy for all things gritty...the illustrious and brilliant Dave Stuart Jr. says...

  • When I give a complex text to the whole class, my below-level readers need to know that what I’m expecting is a gritty reading of the text. They may not pull out as much as their at- or above-level peers, but I expect them to focus for the duration of the reading and to finish it.
  • When we’re doing a close reading of an article and I model how to summarize a dense paragraph, I tell students I want to see them use self-control to remember what I taught them and put it into practice right away.
  • When we’re doing an in-class debate or discussion, I expect students to show politeness to people with opposing viewpoints, and to keep their emotions out of the debate–this is self-control. I also want them to stay focused on the flow of the debate even after they’ve made their required speech–this is grit.
  • That dirty p-word at the end of work-related self-control–procrastination–is a huge monster many of my students need to intentionally grapple with during their freshmen year; self-control allows us to talk about that issue through the lens of it being a barrier to one of the most highly predictive character strengths known to mankind.

  • How it looks in my classroom...

  • Students are not allowed to give up, students are not allowed to quit. I will meet them where they are and pull them up to where they and I know are supposed to be. EXAMPLE: We were doing a tiered unit, I had a student who I knew could do better than a B, we talked and she did the work to received the A.
  • Interactive notebooks allow students time for independent work, group work and whole class work at the level that is most appropriate for them.
  • Reading strategies to go bigger and deeper even with readings that they may not like and have a hard time understanding.
  • Teaching lessons about when it's OK to give up and when they MUST press on.

  • The problems with grit...can all be broken down to the following...

    And, my favorite one...

    But, I suppose we can break it down using Alfie Kohn's article.
    From "The Downside of 'Grit'" by Alfie Kohn

    1] To begin with, not everything is worth doing, let alone doing for extended periods, and not everyone who works hard is pursuing something worthwhile.
    2] Often it just doesn’t make sense to continue with a problem that resists solution or persist at a task that no longer provides satisfaction.
    3] Even if you don’t crash and burn by staying the course, you may not fare nearly as well as if you had stopped, reassessed, and tried something else.
    4] Proponents of grit rarely ask: Do kids love what they're doing?  Or are they driven by a desperate (and anxiety-provoking) need to prove their competence?  As long as they're pushing themselves, we’re encouraged to nod our approval.
    5] Grit is sometimes sold as a tool to accomplish whatever goals one chooses, but in practice the focus is on training children to accomplish the goals imposed on them by adults.
    6] In the field of education, meanwhile, some people are trying to replace a system geared to memorizing facts and taking tests with one dedicated to exploring ideas.  They're committed to implementing a democratic, collaborative approach to schooling that learners will find more engaging than what they're offered now.  But those enamored of grit look at the same status quo and ask:  How can we get kids to put up with it?

    See! Using GRIT effectively is all about thinking...How can I can my students to press on and when is it appropriate to do so?

    1 comment:

    1. Grit is a quality I want my small people to possess. I want them to work hard all the time, to press through times that may seem difficult because the reward at the end is definitely worth it.

      AJ's AtoZ wHooligan
      Tales of a Pee Dee Mama



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