FROM UCLA CENTER – ENEWS
Grit – the Underlying Concern: Enhancing Intrinsic MotivationWe are pleased to see greater attention given to student engagement and
disengagement. However, as often is the case in education, we fear the importance
of the work will be attenuated by assigning it a buzzword.
As one group has noted:
"Every industry has its buzzwords and education is no worse than any
other. One of the challenges of a buzzword is that it can be hard to know if
it marks a passing fad or the leading edge of a trend. Buzzwords can be
distracting as we try to hop on the latest and coolest bandwagon and may
find, too late, that the bandwagon isn't going to any particular destination.
One of the current buzzwords is ‘grit.’ Angela Lee Duckworth did a TED Talk on
grit that has, as of this writing, over 1.7 million views.
The U.S. Department of Education published a report titled Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century.
Forbes writer Jordan Shapiro points out in Grit, Optimism And Other Buzzwords In
The Way of Education that much of this new movement simply reflects ‘the same
familiar go-get-'em cowboy-individualism and unwavering underdog-tenacity that has
always dominated the American mythos.’
While grit (or perseverance or tenacity) are important and need to be qualities of our
students, as Temple University's Avi Kaplan states, ‘Grit has to be balanced with
intelligent flexibility.’ Apollo 13 gave us ‘Failure is not an option.’ Grit and its fellow
buzzwords and the pathos that spreads them remind us that failure is an option, but
it is important to learn from those failures and to figure out what to do with the
experience of the failure and the learning it begets."
How do you see keeping the focus on matters related to
what enhances and what diminishes intrinsic motivation?
Tell us and we will share it widely.
Send comments to email@example.com