Episode 10: True Grit with Angela Duckworth


Manage episode 188324900 series 1316933
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Grit has been a pretty popular buzzword in education these past few years. The concept isn't exactly new. Perseverance, willingness to learn, passion, positively dealing with adversity—these are all characteristics that we typically associate with good students, and people for that matter. While we may have anecdotally known this for a while, scientific research is now confirming that grit is gold. Angela Duckworth is the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the founder and CEO of Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance the science and practice of character development. Duckworth studies grit and self-control, two attributes that are distinct from IQ and yet powerfully predict success and well-being. She recently visited Phillips Academy to talk about her research and present to the community. Before hitting the stage Duckworth sat down with History & Social Science Instructor and Tang Institute Fellow Noah Rachlin to dive deeper into her thesis. Informed by research in the field, Noah Rachlin is now in his fourth year of leading an effort to help students and teachers see mistakes not as impenetrable roadblocks but as natural parts of the learning process. Rachlin has defined this practice as “learning disposition,” which he breaks into four key concepts: mindset (“I believe it is possible to improve”); motivation (“I want to improve”); deliberate practice (“I’m going to work at the upper limits of my present ability to improve.”); and focus (“I will commit myself to this work over time”). During this coming year, Rachlin will lead a variety of activities designed to deepen and expand this work, through drawing connections with related efforts on campus, including work emanating from the Sykes Wellness Center, the Empathy & Balance curriculum, the work of the Dean of Students and Dean of Studies offices, and additional efforts. He will also continue efforts to partner with other schools and organizations who are implementing and developing strategies designed to help students to understand and guide their learning. Duckworth’s first book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, debuted May 3, 2016, as an immediate New York Times bestseller.

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