Monday, May 23, 2016

Resilience vs. Grit

I receive the New York Times on Sundays. I really appreciate all the features that are a part of the Sunday paper. Sometimes it takes me the full week just to get through all of them!

Recently in the Books section there was a review of a book by Angela Duckworth entitled Grit. This caught my attention since this is a word that is used a lot in education to describe a quality we might like to see or develop in our students. However, there was some backlash to the book and its review, which led me to think more deeply about this term.

As a result of this reflection, I recently have been using the word resilience more than grit. It seems that grit as it is used today indicates that you can do anything you want to do if you just have enough grit. But is that true? Can I become a major league baseball player if I just have enough grit? Or does God-given talent still play a role?

The reason I like resilience better is that there are times when my grit may lead me to realize that there might be a better direction for me -- on a project, personally, professionally, etc. I want my students to be able to persevere and thrive when they are faced with challenges, and sometimes that means redirecting their ideas and energies into something that is more beneficial given the gifts with which they have been blessed by God.

What are your thoughts about this? Agree? Disagree?

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