Task 8

Posted by James on Apr 11, 2016

The video by Angela Duckworth brought fourth these questions.

What is grit?  I am not sure I could define it myself as I see it as a very broad and far reaching word that means many different things to different people. According to Angela Duckworth it is “Passion and perseverance for a long term goal” “it is having stamina, sticking with your future, working hard to make that future happen, treating life as a marathon and not a sprint.” This also begs the question, how does one get grit?  Science has no idea, and neither does anyone else really and unfortunately you can’t simply instil a good work ethic or motivation into someone with a few simple or many complicated steps and in my opinion it comes from within it is something you decide and work towards.

However I also think that it may not be all reaching… as I have much more “grit” with maths and gaming as I will keep working on that question/equation until I understand it or get it right then practise it to make sure I get it right time and time again, or I’ll keep playing the game learning the mechanics to make sure I beat a person I may come across online. Whilst in English I have little to no drive to sit and improve on what I see to be a lost cause, perhaps it’s to do with the mind set of slight defeatism or my dyslexia.

There have been studies on grit and students with grit tend to do better later in life as they are able to delay gratification for a better long term reward. A similar famous study was done on young children called the marshmallow test where a marshmallow was placed on a table in from of them and they were told if they didn’t touch it for 2 minutes they could have two marshmallows’ then the tester would leave the room. Those students who waited to get two marshmallows’ tended to do better later in life.

This also links into the article on growth mind set by Jo Boaler. The key to Growth Mind Set is that effort changes the brain by forming new connections, and that students control this process. We can see this happens even in adults as if you look back to Matthew Syed’s video “Myths, talent and practice.” In the video he talks about how London cab drivers have a part of their brain that grows after working as a cab driver from having to learn all the roads and routes. This mean that intelligence/smartness can be learnt and in turn also means there is no such thing as people who can and cannot. And because of this there are many countries who do not place their children into sets for example Japan doesn’t set and neither does Shanghai because it isn’t conducive to learning. But in this country we don’t just set by ability but also behaviour, which has its own challenges as a disruptive student can ruin an entire lesson hindering up to 34 students learning, should they be allowed to do this?

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