What we accomplish in the marathon of life depends tremendously on our grit – our passion and perseverance for long–term goals. An obsession with talent distracts us from that simple truth.

Angela Duckworth (2017:269)

Here Duckworth is not suggesting that grit is the only character skill that matters, and it is certainly not the only competence that children need to cultivate in order to become well-rounded individuals. What we interpret from this is that ‘grit’ can be developed, either on your own or with the support of others. Students can understand the importance of deliberate practice and the relationship between grit and other aspects of character.

In some of our schools, Grit is a key attribute of the disposition drive. Inspirational stories of ‘gritty people’ are shared, not in the hope to encourage students to believe that they can achieve anything but in the hope that they will be encouraged to find a passion, bounce back after failure and engage in the things that make them happy. School is as much about developing character and providing opportunities for students to flourish as it is about imparting knowledge and developing domain specific skills.

Research basis

  • Credé, M., Tynan, M., Harms, P. and. Cooper, L. (2017). Much Ado About Grit: A Meta-Analytic Synthesis of the Grit Literature. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 113(3), 492-511
  • Duckworth, A., and Gross, J. (2014). Self-Control and Grit: Related but Separable Determinants of Success Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(5)
  • Duckworth, A., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. Kelly, D., and Carver, C. (2007) Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(6), 1087-1101
  • Von Culin, K., Tsukayama, E., and Duckworth, A. (2014) Unpacking grit: Motivational correlates of perseverance and passion for long-term goals. The Journal of Positive Psychology, p.1-7