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Hi Leonard,

You raise some good points and concerns. The 'GRIT' scale and research has taken off and it's wise to pull the reigns back and use experience and wisdom to evaluate, which, by the way, you are incredibly gifted at. First off, I am no expert on Duckworth's research. Although, my interpretation, having heard Dr. Duckworth present her research, is that GRIT is less how "hard" you work, and more how you work. I think Duckworth would agree with you that working harder at "doing things the wrong way" will not yield satisfactory results, no matter the student's GRIT. Grit, in my understanding, is more about what you study and how you study without giving up. Effort measured by results.

Duckworth can, and does, thank KA Erickson's work on the theory of deliberate practice (http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/freakonomics/pdf/DeliberatePractice%28PsychologicalReview%29.pdf) , made famous by Malcolm Galdwell's 10,000 hours rule in Outliers, which focuses on the effort and processes of practice for becoming an expert. Deliberate practice focuses on constantly becoming better by focusing on weaknesses until they become strengths and letting that cycle repeat itself.

GRIT also combats particular theories of intelligence, that assert successful students, artists, performers, or any higher achiever is naturally gifted. Her research and the work of others show achievement is marked by an accumulation of hours of concentrated effort at becoming better, and that all people when 'put under a  microscope', even our highest performers, have achieved success from being very deliberate in becoming better.

Duckworth also did her doctoral work under the Founder of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligmann at Penn. So GRIT is also about how we can achieve our success by reframing our mindest (burrowing from Dr. Carol Dweck, who Duckworth frequently cites), despite whatever circumstances, we can change the situation for the positive. Sounds hokey, but there is some interesting research behind it worth checking out, particularly that of Shawn Achor (http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work?language=en)

To speak to your points, being strategic in your studies, I believe, has some parallels to GRIT in regards to metacognition in students and the importance of deliberate practice in GRIT. GRIT would reinforce the practice of 're-directing' the approach, because the 'gritty' student realized it wasn't working and the new approach is better and helping them become better. The GRIT scale measures the student's tendency to fight or flight from a challenge. Those that easily walk away, quit or assume their a failure are low on the grit scale. Whereas a 'gritty' student won't give up, but will acknowledge the challenge and find a strategy to make it work. So, possibly, your tutors who feel bad for their tutees who work really hard, I assume are strategic students who have found strategic ways to learn the material--the trick is getting them to articulate that process.

I hope this helps!

Brian

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Brian Cuzzolina, MSEd|Academic  Development Specialist
Thomas Jefferson University|130 S. 9th St. (Edison), Suite 1125 |Philadelphia, PA 19107
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-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Geddes, Leonard G.
Sent: Friday, January 30, 2015 3:29 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Duckworth's GRIT Scale

I'm having trouble digesting the "GRIT" factor. I see its appeal and resonance: students who work harder than others and persevere perform better. It fits the american work hard and you'll succeed mantra. However, I'm curious if anyone else sees this differently.

First point: I've had numerous tutors through the years who have expressed guilt because their tutees sometimes work much harder than they did when they were in the class. Personally, I've tracked students' study hours and also see that many struggling students are hardworking. This is why I frequently tell students that doing the wrong things the right way is no better than doing the right things the wrong way.

Second point: Based upon the Scale's questions, it seems that stick-to-it-ness is a major factor in determining whether someone has grit. But tenacity for tenacity's sake may not be a positive attribute. The ability to assess your circumstances and redirect yourself in a different way to achieve a different goal is sometimes a better approach.  Does changing course mean that you lack grit?  I think the ability to redirect take significant humility and critical thinking skills. I was discussing this with a veteran who said, "Grit" is one of the things that prevented us from acknowledging that going to war in Iraq was a bad decision.

Maybe I'm missing something. I am not familiar with the research. Can anyone shed any further light on it?

Leonard Geddes, MA
Associate Dean of Co-Curricular Programs Director of the Lohr Learning Commons
(828) 328-7024
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www.lr.edu
Personal Learning Assistance Blog - The Well: thewelledu.com ________________________________________
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Kathryn Van Wagoner [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2015 6:43 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Duckworth's GRIT Scale

Someone did a Master's thesis to see if GRIT predicted success for our dev math students. She found no correlations. One possible reason is that the GRIT is written for a traditional freshman audience and we have over 60% non-traditional students.

On 1/21/15 9:36 AM, "Kathy Haberer" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Is anyone using this scale in anyway? Multiple measures, retention
>activities, etc.
>
>Kathy Haberer, Director
>Student Development and Counseling
>618-468-4126
>FAX 618-468-7257
>www.lc.edu/disability<http://www.lc.edu/disability>
>[cid:[log in to unmask]]
>
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