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Can grit impact our creativity?

September 2, 2014

Over the past decade, educators and researchers have identified “grit” as a trait that can significantly impact student achievement.  Recent studies, however, raise some questions about grit’s impact on student creativity.openhouseboy

As Sarah D. Sparks writes in ‘Grit’ May Not Spur Creative Success, Scholars Say in the August 20 edition of Education Week,  “Well-known studies by developmental psychologist Angela L. Duckworth and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania have found that a person’s ‘grit’—a measure of conscientiousness and perseverance—could predict everything from graduation rates at West Point to National Spelling Bee champions.

But, as Sparks point out in the same article, some scholars are now calling into question the impact of grit on the creative process.

One skeptic is Magdalena G. Grohman, the associate director of the Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology at the University of Texas at Dallas. “When you look at it, these [areas studied by Ms. Duckworth] are well-defined areas and the rules for achievement are well-defined in those areas,” [Grohman] said. “We know what to do to get good grades, what to do to stay in military school, and what to do to win in contests such as spelling bees. The rules are pretty clear on what the achievement is and what success is in these domains. But what about creative achievement?”

Read more at Education Week. (Free registration may be required to read article in its entirety.)

Cannon School is a JrK – 12 independent school located in Concord, NC.

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