EL Education.

Building a Culture of Growth: Grit and Perseverance

What is Grit?

"Grit in psychology is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual's passion for a particular long-term goal or end state coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective. This perseverance of effort promotes the overcoming of obstacles or challenges that lie within a gritty individual's path to accomplishment and serves as a driving force in achievement realization." 

Grit (personality trait). (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved September 30, 2015 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grit(personalitytrait)

Learning Target

I can explain what grit is and how it influences student achievement.

Watch: The Key to Success

  1. Describe the concept of grit. Grit is...
  2. When, in your own life, have you shown "grittiness"?
  3. What questions does this introduction to the concept of grit raise for you? (You might use these questions for your own further exploration.)

Angela Lee Duckworth: The Key to Success? Grit. (April 2013). In TED. Retrieved on September 30, 2015 from http://www.ted.com/talks/angelaleeduckworththekeytosuccess_grit?language=en.

Dig Deeper 

Grit Research Site—University of Pennsylvania: The Duckworth Lab focuses on two traits that predict success in life: grit and self-control. This website includes several free resources for teachers.

5 Characteristics of Grit—How Many Do You Have?A Forbes article discussing the elusive nature of grit as well as some salient characteristics that can be used to think about how you measure up.

Does Helping Kids to Get Gritty Help Them to Get Ahead?A two-part audio story by NPR including an overview of the research and tips for schools.


  1. How do the adults in your school talk with students about grit?
  2. How do you model, or how could you model, the characteristic of grit to your students?