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In our current society, the intelligence quotient is not always considered to be the key for a person to succeed. Most people now have the same degree of education. At the same time, the test for a person’s persistence on work becomes more important. Jimmy, one of my high school friends in China, has been a president in a student union at the Nanjing University of Technology. I didn’t doubt that he would be able to get such an achievement because he always worked so hard. In my impression, I think he will continue to be excellent not only in his academic career, but also in the workplace in the future (). Although he was not the smartest person I have ever seen, he was the most persistent person I have met. At this time, someone else may ask: why I am confident with him and so sure that he can be successful in the future in such a competitive and unforeseeable society? It is because I know him; he had been so gritty since when he was a student in high school. He was always dedicated and was able to focus on one thing until he solved it totally. Unlike others, He seldom chose to give up when he was faced with a series of difficulties.
Instead, he was able to spend hours and hours to arrange it. I still remember a scene when I was in high school, the teacher assigned extremely hard problem for us to do as homework by saying that: you guys are allowed to give up if you can’t solve it. Most of the students chose to give up in half an hour, including me. We all considered it as a problem that couldn’t be solved since the process of solving it must be quite complex and out of range. After the teacher asked us about the problem in the class, no one could answer it except him, the person who spent the whole night to solve it, even though he knew that it was not necessary to do it. In my opinion, the quality of grit is much more important than smartness for a student to get achievement. So, understanding and emphasizing the importance of grit can really help students. Not only should the students be eager to be gritty, but also the educators should pay more attention on how to cultivate the students’ quality of grit. Furthermore, in order to help students maximize their accomplishment, the teachers and educators should provide the an environment that cultivates their quality of grit. Grit really helps students to achieve their goals, especially their long-term goals. Recognizing grit and characteristics of grit Grit is define as perseverance and passion for long-term goals.
Grit entails working strenuously toward challenges maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure adversity and plateaus in progress (Duckworth, 2007). This perseverance of effort promotes the overcoming of obstacles or challenges. This quality is important for an individual’s to achieve accomplishment, and serves as a driving force in achievement realization. Grit is commonly associates concepts within the field of psychology including ”perseverance”, ”Hardiness”, ”resilience”, ”need for achievement”, and “conscientiousness”. These constructs can be conceptualized as individual differences related to the accomplishment of work rather than latent ability. Five main characteristics of grit described by Perlis are courage, conscientiousness, long-time goals and endurance, resilience and excellence(Perlis, 2013).For the courage, although it is hard to measure, it is directly proportional to people’s level of grit. The ability to manage fear of failure is imperative and a predicator of success.
The supremely gritty are not afraid to tank, but rather, embrace it as part of a process. It was very common for people to face difficulties. The courage would help them retrieve from these failures very quickly. Also, according to Duckworth, of the five personality traits, conscientiousness is the most closely associated with grit. The successful individual is one who works tirelessly, tries to do a good job, and completes the task at hand and who is also the person to be more gritty. Duckworth writes: “… achievement is the product of talent and effort, the latter a function of the intensity, direction, and duration of one’s exertions towards a long-term goal”(Duckworth, 2007). Long-term goals are also related to grit. The Beatles, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs all build such impossibly powerful spheres of influence through their long-term goal and keep gritty for many years. Resilience and excellence also does great work on grit. During your process of grit, it is common for you to suffer after failing again and again, and then you need to get back up on the problem and put all your efforts to fix. College completion and Grit: As we all know, college can always be considered as one of the most important period in one person’s life. College is really a place which taught a person specific knowledge and how to apply it. During the college life, students are able to touch different kind of knowledge which they are interested in and what they are willing to know. Also, college is the transition between the high school and real life in society, not only knowledge, students also learned to take care of themselves, deal with difficulties on their own, and how to social with others. Actually, we can even say that college is one of the most important periods in one person’s life. As a result, the completion of college is also becoming one serious social issue.
From Hanford’s research paper, we realized that grit, which is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals, can solve such problem.( Hanford, 2012) Grit is sticking with people’s future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Angela Lee Duckworth, a famous professor in University of Pennsylvania, once did a series of famous researches. (Duckworth, 2007)After she turning her attention to the question of grit and college completion, she started to conduct studies to understand what predicts college persistence among graduates of several high-performing urban charter school networks :YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, Mastery Charter Schools in Philadelphia, Aspire Public Schools in California and Achievement First Schools in Connecticut. For students, no matter the first-generation students or those who come from college-educated families, the college is supposed to be a challenging experience. “It’s like going to a foreign country and trying to navigate systems and programs that you have never come in contact with before,” says Villanueva. For the firstgeneration students who go to college, most of them may also face obstacle like financial aid or family obligation, so they not only have to study, but also need to work for their tuitions or take care of their siblings. It means the experience of them is even harder, which also lower the rate of graduation. When college is hard, grit helps, according to Angela Duckworth’s research. In fact, people who succeed in getting associate’s degrees are, on average, more gritty than people who get bachelor’s degrees, according to Duckworth’s research. It takes as much grit to get an associate’s degree as it does to get a Ph.D. Learning to be gritty: Form the paragraphs above, it is easy to conclude that grit is quite important for students to achieve success. According to our culture and history, everything can be learned, including grit.
People change all the time, every human quality that has been studied has proven to be affected at least in part by a person’s environment. In my opinion, students can be more gritty if they stand inside a strict situation, the stress push them to the front. According to Angela Lee Duckworth’s research, we find that the best way to build grit in kids maybe one thing called “growth mindset”, which was an idea developed at Standford University by Dweck. (Duchworth, 2007)The ability to learn is not always fixed, it can be changed and improved with people’s efforts. Dr. Dweck once said when children read or learn the brain and how it changes and grows in response to challenge, they are much more likely to preserve their failure, since they don’t believe failure is a permenant condition.
Also, when facing with difficulties, educators should encourage the students to use all of their current ability, all of their efforts and their courage to deal with it, and keep trying until finishing it. However, everything can lead to negative effects if educators and teachers use it incorrectly. Just take an example, if teachers assign overloaded projects or homework on students, students may be in depression after failing to fix it for many times. This kind of behavior may also destroy children’s confident. I have once conducted a research on “Assigning how much work is most suitable for students to become gritty” in Silo in UC Davis. Because the silo is the center of the campus, many students will come across it, including freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior. I am able to ask all levels of students in UC Davis by setting my location here. I asked nearly 20 students from different countries and different grades about how much homework would be beneficial to them. Their answers were quite different with each other and including their own different reasons. After I collected all my data, I find that about 76% of the people said they thought appropriate amount of work is beneficial for them to be gritty, and only 10% of people thought overload work was helpful to them. All in all, during the process of teaching students be grutty, the educators should pay more attention on the degree of training and method, preventing the occurance of negative results.
Conclusion: From the example I used in the introduction, the quality of gritty can be really beneficial for students when facing difficulties, in some extent, it is even more helpful than IQ, which is inherent. Furthermore, educators can really help improve the rate of college completion by teaching students to be gritty. However, educators should pay more attention on their methods when they train students to be more grit, since everything can be negative with wrong skills. Reference Lists: Margaret M. Perlis (2013) 5 Characteristics of Grit—How many do you have? Emily Hanford (2012) How important is Grit in Student Achievement? Angela L. Duckworth (2007) Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals Self Research.
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