Grit

Strengths of Will

Grit is perseverance and passion for long-term goals.

As an educator, you may be hearing a lot about grit these days—and with good reason. Studies show that kids who demonstrate grit persist at hard tasks and outperform their competitors. Grit is a critical strength of most people who are successful. It is especially complex because it is related to other skills and mindsets such as optimism, purpose, growth mindset, bravery, and even self-control.

There are a lot of misconceptions about grit. Grit is much more than just encouraging kids to “try harder” or not give up—it’s also about helping kids find their passion. Having grit does not mean never quitting—it means quitting responsibly (and not just because times get tough) and sticking to the things to which you are truly dedicated.

Observing Grit

Grit is a combination of passion and persistence. Demonstrating grit could involve:

  • Finishing what you begin
  • Staying committed to your goals
  • Working hard even after experiencing failure or when you feel like quitting
  • Sticking with a project or activity for more than a few weeks

What the Research Says

Dr. Angela Duckworth of UPenn talks about grit.

Grit can be predictive of achievement, especially in challenging contexts in which stamina is key.

For instance, gritty cadets are more likely to persist at West Point Military Academy, gritty students in the Chicago Public Schools are more likely to graduate, and gritty competitors are more likely to advance to the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Researchers are still studying how to best develop grit in students over time.

Keep Exploring Grit