Is grit the new hot commodity when it comes to how an applicant distinguishes himself or herself as a candidate for secondary school? We have always known that hard work, resilience, and tenacity are important factors in the success of our students, but we may not have fully appreciated how important these factors are.
At an SSAT conference I recently attended, I noticed an overwhelming recurrence of the theme of grit. One of the keynote speakers at the conference was Dr. Angela Duckworth, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research centers on self-control and grit. Dr. Duckworth gave a presentation very similar to this one, which I recommend that all interested in this topic watch.
When she spoke about grit, Dr. Duckworth gave some examples of how individuals embarking on multi-year projects could develop and demonstrate grit. Grit is important because, inevitably in life, students will run into unexpected challenges, and studies have repeatedly shown that individuals who have grit are the ones that are able to overcome adversity and find long-term success.
With this in mind, it’s important to understand how we can help build grit. One of the strategies identified to build grit is by goal setting.
- What specific goal do I want to achieve?
- What good thing will happen if I achieve this goal?
- What obstacles stand in the way of my reaching this goal?
Dr. Duckworth started her lecture by telling the audience that although many people set goals for themselves, people with grit push themselves to raise the bar and go above and beyond.
Our students thrive to conduct themselves with honesty, respect, empathy, and courage in all they do at Fenn and outside of Fenn. The way our Fenn students embrace a life in which Sua Sponte is at the root of their behavior is the key ingredient to a winning formula for success!
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