Thomas R. Hoerr's Fostering Grit

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Thomas R. Hoerr’s “Fostering Grit” is a refreshing and encouraging address to our nation’s teachers. This text outlines and details an innovative method of imparting knowledge through a style of teaching designed to create critical and confident thinkers in the classroom. He opens by asking: “Is it our job to prepare students for success in school or for success in life? (Hoerr 1). Most people would agree that the latter is, in fact, the goal. So, GRIT – What is GRIT? At first glance one might be tempted to begin a mental review of what this acronym might represent. GRIT is, however not an acronym, but rather refers to tenacity, perseverance, and the ability to never give up. “GRIT gives us resilience …Our GRIT helps us determine how to…show more content…
In referring to a student’s experience in the classroom itself, Hoerr tells teachers that “Regardless of their academic performance, students are bound to encounter frustrations and failures in the real world; everyone will hit a wall sooner or later. Responding appropriately when things go wrong – turning a failure into a “good” failure, one from which we learn is key to success in life” (Hoerr 2). This is not a skill that comes naturally to many people. Therefore, fostering GRIT is an actual process. Changing the natural inclinations of human reactions to failure is something that is absolutely possible; albeit, requires strategic coaching. With this understanding, “working to develop GRIT means occasionally and thoughtfully presenting students with learning obstacles that they must overcome to find success” (Hoerr 5). This translates to teachers needing to purposefully create situations where their students will feel frustration while simultaneously maintaining an attitude that reflects positive and hopeful encouragement – in order that the students learn to respond to the frustration as a part of the journey, and not let the frustration become their journey’s end. Unfortunately too often in today’s society, the encountering of frustration and obstacles along the way is not…show more content…
One sect of her published research is documented in the Journal of Personality & Social Psychology article, “Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals”. In this article, Duckworth states, in reference to a comparative study of varied testing measures with regard to intelligence, “Grit nonetheless demonstrated incremental predictive validity of success measures over and beyond IQ and conscientiousness. Collectively, these findings suggest that the achievement of difficult goals entails not only talent but also the sustained and focused application of talent over time” (Duckworth). Duckworth can also be seen addressing educators on the subject of GRIT in her TED Talks presentation. Educational Leadership Magazine’s Senior Editor, Deborah Perkins-Gough, chronicles an interview with Duckworth where the renowned researcher’s definition of GRIT parallel’s that of both Hoerr and Ginsburg. Duckwork sums up GRIT as a type of resilience – “the idea of a positive response to failure or adversity…[in addition to]…having consistent interests –focused passions – over a long time …choosing to give up a lot of other things in order to …stick with those interests and goals over the long term” (Perkins-Gough 14-20). In addition, Duckworth subsequently refers to the works and published texts of other experts in this field. She is especially

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