STUDENT OF THE MONTH: THE POWER OF GRIT!

Sep 24, 2022 | Red Deer

 

Meet our Student of the Month! This mathlete has been showing progress steadily since she joined us in January and consistently showing her grit throughout her learning.  Yes sometimes she got frustrated when facing challenges – math concepts that she finds it hard – but they do not make her give up or ask to skip the math challenges and do something else like some kids do, but instead she shows high persistence in the face of difficulties.

She is able to prioritize what she sees as important, between her busy schedules of attending schools and sports practices. She treated summer as a good time to learn and catch up besides hanging out with friends and enjoying Westerner Days, by attending our sessions through summer; and because of that consistency in learning, she was able to jump two Mathnasium levels, closing her math gaps so much faster!

 

The Power of Grit

Grit – the sustained perseverance and passion for long-term goals – is one key factor that we’ve seen from our students who show great progress. They view challenges as learning opportunities and not as obstacles and are open to failure. According to Professor Katariina Salmela-Aro, who lead the research about this, one key finding shows the power of grit: it significantly contributes to well-being and academic success. Grit is one of the essential social and emotional skills, and they predict cognitive skills, in this case, future academic success. Researchers believe that in the future, non-cognitive skills will become increasingly important. This is significant because for a long time, intelligence was considered the key to success.

 

Grit: Nature or Nurture?

Behaviour genetic studies have confirmed that about 40% of someone’s personality, which is often regarded as a stable and unchanged trait, is due to genetic reasons, leaving about 60% attributed to environmental influences. Therefore it is our role – as parents, teachers, educators – to create environments that enable our kids and students to enhance their grit, where it is safe to fail and cope with setbacks so that they know that they shouldn’t be discouraged by setbacks, but draw strengths and new energy from them.

Angela Duckworth, an ex-math teacher who is a psychologist professor, believes grit – just like other human quality – is something people can probably learn, affected by a person’s environment. Grit can wax and wane in response to experience. People change over time, and my personal experience confirms that. My first son was addicted to online game when he was in the first year of university and flunked his grades. Learning the hard way, he changed his major, and then was successfully graduated with GPA of 3.9. He was then able to beat 200 other candidates for a position in a company, and later bought his first condo at the age of 25.

 

Congrats again to our Student of The Month! We believe her grit will get her to her academic goals and beyond – in the future!!

 

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