November 22, 2015

How to develop persistence?

Psychologist Angela Duckworth chose the term grit to describe people's ability to work hard and keep on focusing on their long term goals. According to Duckworth this ability enables people to accomplish a lot in their lives. If one views grit as something worthwhile (which it indeed seems to be although I also have several critical questions about the construct) one might wonder how to develop it.

Is it best to try teach children to be strong-willed and persistent? Of might it be more effective to teach children a growth mindset?

Farrington et al. (2012) did a comprehensive literature review and concluded: “It is hard to change academic behaviors and academic perseverance directly without addressing academic mindsets and effective learning strategies. Ironically, trying to directly change behaviors and perseverance is not the best lever for improving students’ academic performance.” “The best ways to improve students’ perseverance and strengthen their academic behaviors is through academic mindsets and learning strategies. This is the central point emerging from our review.”

> Hat tip to Eduardo BriceƱo

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