Click the link below to learn how "grit" is a strong predictor of success in school and in life. Watch the video about grit and perseverance from psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth, the winner of the MacArthur Genius Award for her work in education.
    Also, click below on helpful strategies for encouraging "grit" in your child from Dr. Carol Dweck:


    What Are Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance?

    How can I develop these qualities in my child?


    From “Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors For Success In the 21st Century”, February 14, 2013. from http://www.ed.gov/edblogs/technology/files/2013/02/OET-Draft-Grit-Report-2-17-13.pdf, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology




    What are grit, tenacity, and perseverance? They are the qualities needed “…to accomplish long-term or higher-order goals in the face of challenges and setbacks…”

    -“Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors For Success In the 21st Century”. (February 14, 2013).U.S. Department of Education, Office of

       Educational Technology.


    What do academically tenacious students look like? First, they believe that they belong in school academically and socially…Second, they are engaged in learning, view effort positively, and can forego immediate pleasures for the sake of schoolwork…Third, difficulty, be it intellectual or social, does not derail them. They see a setback as an opportunity for learning or a problem to be solved rather than as a humiliation, a

    condemnation of their ability or worth, a symbol of future failures, or a confirmation that they do not belong. This is true at the level of a given task and at the level of their studies in general. Tenacious students know how to remain engaged over the long haul and how to deploy new strategies for moving forward effectively.

    – Carol Dweck, Gregory Walton, and Geoffrey Cohen (Dweck et al., 2011, pp. 5-6)




    Students can develop qualities that promote grit, tenacity, and perseverance.

    Some actions parents can take to develop grit are:


    Help your child develop an academic mindset.

    Children need to understand that their ability and competence

        grows because of their effort.


    Help your child develop self-discipline and self-control.

    Students are constantly faced with tasks that are

        important for long-term goals but that in the short-term, these goals do not feel desirable or motivating.

    Successful students use willpower and learn how to manage their attention in the face of distractions.

    While this can seem like “no  fun,” research shows that students who are stronger in these skills are happier and are better able to handle stress.


    Help your child develop strategies and tactics.

    Students are also more likely to persevere when they know how to deal with challenges and setbacks.

    They need to know actions they can take in order to be responsible, show

        initiative, and be productive under conditions of uncertainty.


    Psychologist Carol Dweck writes on her website for parents at http://mindsetonline.com/forum/parentsteach/index.html as follows:


    “What should parents do? Research shows that praising the process—children’s effort or strategies—creates eagerness for challenges, persistence in the face of difficulty, and enhanced performance. Next time you are tempted to tell your child that he or she is the next Einstein or future Picasso, stop yourself. Instead, take the time to appreciate what they put into their work, not what the work means about their innate brains or talent. Ask them how they went about it and show them how you appreciate their choices, their thinking process, or their persistence. Ask them about strategies that didn’t work and what they learned from them. When they make mistakes, use these as occasions for teaching them to come up with new strategies. When they do something quickly, easily and perfectly, do not tell them how great they are. Tell them, “I’m sorry I wasted your time on something too easy for you. Let’s do something you can learn from.” Look for ways to convey your valuing of effort, perseverance, and learning—rather than some empty display of ability. Instead of false confidence in fixed ability, these methods will foster an appreciation for the true ingredients of achievement.” (Dweck, C. http://mindsetonline.com/forum/parentsteach/index.html. Retrieved 12-02-13)


    Parents are also cautioned that there are no quick fixes around developing these capabilities—these take consistent cultivation over the course of childhood and adolescence.


    Source: Adapted from National Research Council. (2012). Education for life and work: developing transferable knowledge and skills in the 21st century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.




    Draft prepared by Shechtman, N. DeBarger, A.H., Dornsife, C., Rosier, S., Yarnall, L., from SRI International. (February 14, 2013). “Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors For Success In the 21st Century”, from http://www.ed.gov/edblogs/technology/files/2013/02/OET-Draft-Grit-Report-2-17-13.pdf,  U.S. Department of Education & Office of Educational Technology. Retrieved 12-02-13.



    1. National Research Council (report). (Summer 2012).Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21-st Century.


    2. Tough, Paul. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. Mariner Books: September 2012,

Last Modified on March 18, 2020