Understanding 21st Century Skills: Grit
As Online School moves forward for the time being, this provides a great opportunity for students, parents, and faculty all to work on building their grittiness as a tool for finding success now and well into the future.
As Online School continues for GWA, so does the Weekly’s focus on 21st Century skills. This fourth week of Online School - when everyone in the GWA community has moved from implementing this online platform to continuing the routine and improving the work being done - seems an ideal time to focus on “Grit.”
Psychologist Angela Duckworth, the world leader on “Grit” and author of the 2016 bestselling book by the same name, describes grit as a combination of passion and perseverance directed toward long-term goals with no expectation of recognition or rewards along the way. “Grit isn’t talent. Grit isn’t luck. Grit isn’t how intensely, for the moment, you want something,” Duckworth writes on angeladuckworth.com. “Instead, grit is about having what some researchers call an ‘ultimate concern’ - a goal you care about so much that it organizes and gives meaning to almost everything you do. And grit is holding steadfast to that goal. Even when you fall down. Even when you screw up. Even when progress toward that goal is halting or slow.” Duckworth even has a Grit Scale (click here) that lets people measure for themselves how “gritty” they are. While talent and luck may contribute toward success, they are no guarantee of the grit that takes someone past the tough times and low points that inevitably come with any long-term pursuit. People with grit have a sort of drive that comes from ambition, self-control, and resilience as they keep moving forward in pursuit of their goals.
This applies well to current times, not only with Online School but also with the broader circumstances of life amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Casablanca, Morocco, and around the world. New challenges unpredictable just weeks ago have moved in front of plans and goals for everything from class assignments and Capstone projects to college plans and jobs. People cannot choose the circumstances, but they can choose how they deal with them. Grit helps people push past those challenges and, when combined with the 21st Century skill of creativity, discover new ways to find success that may have been just as unpredictable a few weeks ago.
Perhaps best of all about grit: people can practice it and increase their grittiness. As Online School moves forward for the time being, this provides a great opportunity for students, parents, and faculty all to work on building their grittiness as a tool for finding success now and well into the future.