The ‘grit lady’ wins a ‘genius’ grant

Angela Duckworth, known as “the grit lady,” has won a MacArthur “genius” grant worth $625,000. A Penn researcher, Duckworth says “grit” and self-control are strong predictors of success — and they can be taught.duckworth 

As a math teacher, she noticed that her best students weren’t always the brightest, she tells NPR. She wondered why some kids try harder than others.

The “character skills” of self-control and of grit are teachable, Duckworth believes. She plans to spend the $625,000 grant to bring middle-school teachers to Penn to discuss how best to develop students’ grit and self-control. (She also plans to buy boots.)

Grittier individuals tend to be “slightly less talented,” says Duckworth. “If things come very easily for you, if you learn things very quickly, you know, maybe you don’t develop the ability to overcome setbacks, to sustain effort, etc.”

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Comments

  1. Roger Sweeny says:

    “A Penn researcher, Duckworth says “grit” and self-control are strong predictors of success — and they can be taught.”

    It would be wonderful if that were true and IF SHE KNEW HOW TO DO IT.

    I eagerly await her showing us how ordinary people working in ordinary schools can do it.

    • Well, we might as well give her her shot at it, and see what she comes up with. Why not? She certainly can’t make the situation nationwide any worse…

    • The evidence strongly suggests that ordinary people working in ordinary schools will largely not give a damn.

      If good ideas valued they’d crowd out the stupid ideas with which the field is constantly bombarded. They don’t.