Tuesday, April 29, 2014


What is grit? When I posed this question during the school assembly one day not a child could answer the question.

And so I was delighted when I was approached the other day by a bunch of grade ones and twos who came up to tell me how much they enjoyed the story Stuck by Oliver Jeffers. While they laughed and giggled as the little boy kept throwing odious things up at the tree to get his kite down, the underlying message was not lost on them.

What was special about this occasion was that the feedback came from the students. One girl approached me and said she understood the meaning of the word grit and that she was a very gritty person indeed! :)

"I will never give up from now on," another child beamed proudly at me.

How wonderful it would be if children were taught to value grit from a very tender age. How easily many adult give up when confronted with adversity.

Watch this interesting video on Grit by Amanda Lee Duckworth:

According to Ms. Duckworth,

"Grit is the disposition to pursue very long-term goals with passion and perseverance, sustained over time. So the emphasis is on stamina."

Prior to this, Francis Galton (1859) has referred to this term as being one of the qualities prevalent in "eminent individuals in society."(APA, 2014)

In the classroom, I am thinking of introducing a year-long project which the students need to sustain over time. They can choose a topic of their choice and pursue it from all angles possible. There are of course drawbacks such as loosing interesting in the topic itself or pursuing something without a mentor by your side most of the times. However, grit implies something which is sustained over a long time. So what better way to test this?

Let us consider creating situations in our classroom which allow students to develop grit.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas.

© 2014 American Psychological Association 


  1. Nice...grit is an underrated quality nowadays :)

  2. Although I have never read the book "Stuck", I am now interested in getting it for our school library. It will help illustrate an attitude we would like to develop in our classrooms, commitment. Might not be exactly the same, but basically it means - not giving up easily. It is OK to put something aside for a while if you are truly "stuck", but keep trying. That is the message I got anyway, without having read the book.
    Actually I saw a real life example of it outside my gate. Two young boys had their kite stuck in a tree too. They tried several things, and finally one climbed up on the shoulders of the other to retrieve their toy. Two heads are always better than one, right?
    Grit implies an attitude to life, a perseverance, a determination to overcome obstacles. It must be a good thing.


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