Is ‘Grit’ Doomed To Be The New Self-Esteem?
In just a few short weeks, students in California will be taking high-stakes tests. But the tests won’t just cover math, reading and science. Students will also be responding to survey statements like “I usually finish what I start,” or “I can do anything if I try.”
A group of big-city districts there is among the first to try to measure students’ self-control, empathy and other social and emotional skills — and to hold schools accountable for the answers.
“The enthusiasm is getting ahead of the science,” Angela Duckworth, the psychologist and MacArthur Fellow most associated with the concept of grit, told me in May. She has since resigned from the advisory board of the group that’s working to test these qualities in California.
The science shows they’re important things to teach and learn. Students who believe they can do better with more effort, who try harder, who can delay instant gratification and control their impulses, who take feedback well and know how to work on teams, are likely to become happier, healthier, more successful adults.
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