‘Grit’ helps teachers too

Grit isn’t just for students. Gritty teachers are more effective in high-poverty schools, concludes a new study in Teachers College Record, by Penn researchers Claire Robertson-Kraft and Angela Duckworth. New teachers with higher levels of “perseverance and passion for long-term goals”  (aka “grit”) were less likely to quit and more likely to be rated effective, notes Ed Week.

Raters scored 461 novice teachers’ resumes to evaluate multi-year persistence.

The highest score of 6 might go to a gritty teacher who was a “member of the cross-country team for four years and voted MVP in senior year” and was also  “founder and president for two years of the university’s Habitat for Humanity chapter.” The unnamed teacher-training organization that provided the data for the study is now using a version of this rating system as one of multiple tools to help make hiring decisions.

The study used the teacher-training group’s assessment of effectiveness, which was based on several different measures of student achievement.

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  1. Michael E. Lopez says:

    This entire fascination with “grit” is nothing but inane, vapid noise streaming out of people’s mouths.

    *OF COURSE* you’re going to see that successful Widget-makers have “grit” when you define grit as “the characteristics needed for success.” But it doesn’t tell you anything. And that’s pretty much what’s going on with this whole “grit” thing… because no one really knows what it is.

    Oh, they *call* it “a disposition towards perseverance and a passion towards long term goals” (or at least that’s what they call it in this particular study).

    But how do you identify which people have those characteristics? That’s right. You look for people who are serially successful at things. (This particular study combed people’s RESUMES for crying out loud.)

    NEWSFLASH: People who try a lot of things, and are eventually successful at almost everything they attempt tend to be successful at other things.

    Ugh. Just ugh.

    There are times when I’m embarrassed about the Social Sciences on behalf of the Academy-at-large. This is one of those times.

  2. Ruth Joy says:

    Didn’t Teach for America already figure this out?

  3. How about forgetting about special programs to “create” grit and encourage it the old-fashioned way; each kid working independently on their academics while being challenged at a level where said kid can be successful with sustained effort?