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Posts Tagged ‘grit

The video embedded in the tweet below went viral recently.


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Educators would readily repeat the message of grit or persistence or resilience.

I was about to add to the chant by pointing out that the life lesson was not foreseen, planned, or scaffolded. This does not help teachers who operate by standards, curriculum, or otherwise being told what to do.

As I hesitated on clicking the publish button in WordPress, this Atlantic news article provided insights on why the mother bear and her cub made such a desperate dash. They were startled by an aerial drone that sought to capture footage.

The lesson about struggling and failing to learn about grit and persistence is important, but it is the obvious and low-hanging fruit. The bears would have been put in that danger had the documentarians operated more ethically. Therein lies an equally important but less obvious lesson.

This TED talk goes beyond this juicy question.

The speaker, Carol Dweck, described a school where students were not given a fail grade if they did not not exhibit mastery. Instead, they were graded “not yet”.

This could lead to a deprogramming of wanting results, products, or grades now, and lead to a focus on resilience, effort, and self-motivation.

Dweck recommended a few strategies for promoting “yet” and dissuading “now”:

  • Praise processes, not products or innate traits
  • Reward effort, strategy, and progress
  • Show paths for learner progress
  • Talk to learners about growth mindsets

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