TeachME Professional Development

Developing Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance in the Learning Environment

Executive Summary

1. A growing movement in education is to explore the potential of students 'non-cognitive' factors such as attributes, dispositions, social skills and intrapersonal resources, independent of intellectual ability.

A. True

B. False


What are Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance? A Hypothesized Model

2. Each of the following is an accurate statement about psychological resources that students can develop to promote grit, tenacity, and perseverance EXCEPT:

A. Students can develop academic mindsets that constitute how they frame themselves as learners, their learning environment, and their relationship to their learning environment

B. Successful students will marshal willpower and regulate their attention during difficult or undesirable tasks and in the face of distractions

C. Students will draw on specific strategies and tactics to deal with challenges and setbacks

D. Students can learn to persevere through assigned tasks that are extrinsically motivated and unimportant to them, as this will help them with long-term retention and conceptual learning


Programs and Models for Learning Environments to Promote Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance

3. Empirically based mindset interventions include activities that explicitly teach students to have a 'production' mentality that enhances intelligence and provides a way to promote global values and efforts.

A. True

B. False


Conclusion

4. Parents and guardians can play a direct and important role in promoting their children's grit, tenacity, and perseverance by employing some of the research-based best practices at home as they work with their children around academic goals.

A. True

B. False


Introduction-A Critical Need in Education: Why Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance

5. Some experts believe that one flaw in our education system is that middle class students are being pushed so hard to get into top-tier universities that their high school years are filled with intense stress and they are not being adequately prepared for a thriving adulthood.

A. True

B. False


6. Adolescents report that the biggest challenges they face in their lives are concerns about their changing identity, concerns about their own future as they anticipate educational, occupational, and career challenges in an increasingly competitive job market, and:

A. Emotional problems

B. Family tension

C. Interpersonal conflicts

D. Overwhelming responsibilities


Exhibit 1. Clusters of 21st-Century Competencies

7. Leadership competencies for the 21st century include adaptability, collaboration, problem-solving, decision-making and innovation.

A. True

B. False


8. Technological advances are providing a variety of new affordances that can be leveraged to support student's grit, tenacity, and perseverance in several ways, and advantages include:

A. Technology permits greater sophistication of assessment and adaptation to individual learning needs

B. Technologies that integrate different documents, textbook and multimedia materials, devices, and sources of information can provide supports to help students stay organized, manage time, and feel confident

C. Technology enables students and teachers to utilize for their own purposes an unprecedented wealth of online and digital resources

D. All of the above


What are Grit, Tenacity, Perseverance? A Hypothesized Model-Exhibit 2

9. When young people utilize effective learning strategies and demonstrate a positive mindset, that not only helps them drive their own learning to do better in school but also helps them to navigate the typical barriers to success both inside and outside the classroom, and they are building:

A. Agency

B. Persistence

C. Tenacity

D. Grit


10. Academic mindsets, which determine how students frame themselves as learners, include short and long term goals, purpose, character, and will.

A. True

B. False


Socio-Cultural Context

11. Socio-cultural context can play a fundamental role in influencing the types of goals students will value, the types of challenges and setbacks they will face, and the resources they will have access to for supporting perseverance.

A. True

B. False


Alignment with Specific Interest or Established Values and Goals

12. When students have opportunities to work toward goals that are meaningfully connected to their future success, cultural values, lives outside of school, and/or topics that are personally interesting and relevant, they are more likely to persevere when faced with a challenge.

A. True

B. False


Psychological Resources that can Promote Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance-Academic Mindsets

13. Which of the following is NOT a correct statement about how students perceive a sense of belonging in the academic community?

A. Extensive research shows that when students feel a sense of belonging in their school and classrooms, they are more likely to engage in schooling

B. Students' sense of belonging is enhanced through relationships with peers, teachers and other adults

C. Belonging is closely tied to perceptions of achievement, extrinsic motivation, and willingness to maintain individuality

D. Feeling a lack of trust, respect, or fairness from teachers or alienation and rejection from peers can be a strong determinant of disengagement from school


Effortful Control

14. While self-control refers to the ability to regulate attention in the face of distractions and to delay gratification, self-discipline involves planning behavior that enhances the ability to reach goals, while knowing how to:

A. Take responsibility and have a positive outlook

B. Manage thoughts and emotions

C. Maintain a strong sense of purpose

D. Be patient in learning new skills


Strategies and Tactics-Exhibit 6

15. To support perseverance in the face of a challenge, a four phase model is recommended that includes stating the task, setting general goals and criteria, engaging in the learning process, and evaluating success and failure in order to establish new goals.

A. True

B. False


The Dark Side of Grit: Potential Costs and Risks

16. As grit becomes a more popular notion in education, there is a risk that poorly informed educators or parents could misuse the idea and exhibit the tendency to overvalue personality-based explanations for observed behaviors and undervalue situational explanations.

A. True

B. False


Measuring Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance

17. One of the challenges of measuring grit, perseverance and tenacity is that there is a gap in methods for assessing interpersonal and intrapersonal capabilities since so much focus is placed on:

A. Cognitive competences

B. Student achievement

C. Measureable standards

D. Performance benchmarks


Why Measure Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance

18. Diagnostic measures designed to identify vulnerable students must be particularly attentive to intended and unintended consequences of using such data, which is known as "discriminant reliability."

A. True

B. False


19. Self-report items that measure grit and 'perseverance of effort' include each of the following EXCEPT:

A. I have achieved a goal that took years of work

B. I have overcome setbacks to conquer an important challenge

C. Setbacks don't discourage me

D. I have acknowledged and pursued my changing interests


20. Informant reports are those made by someone other than the student, and such forms of reporting are a common approach for teachers, parents/guardians, and mental health professionals to access the social-emotional competencies that serve as protective factors associated with resilience in young children.

A. True

B. False


School Records

21. Although educational records may be used to identify students who are not managing to persevere in the face of school challenges, they are only broad indicators of perseverance and do not tell the richer story of an individual's characteristics or how interactions with the learning environment contribute to these outcomes.

A. True

B. False


New Methods for Measuring Behavioral Task Performance

22. New methods for measuring behavioral task performance include:

A. Learning analytics which develops methods and applies techniques from statistics and machine learning to analyze data collected during teaching and learning

B. Educational data mining that applies techniques from information science, sociology, psychology and statistics to analyze data collected during education administration and services, teaching, and learning

C. Affective computing to develop systems and devices that can recognize, interpret, process, and simulate aspects of human affect

D. All of the above


Some Example Measures

23. Studies have reported functional and structural changes in the brain and improved performance for long term practitioners of mindfulness meditation techniques that enhance attentional focus, which is evidence of the cognitive plasticity and malleability of brain functioning for processes related to grit.

A. True

B. False


Programs and Models for Learning Environments to Promote Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance

24. Recent literature reviews have consistently demonstrated that grit, tenacity, and perseverance can be taught as transferable competencies, with a wide range of programs and approaches showing that informal school environments have the most successful promise.

A. True

B. False


School Readiness Programs That Address Executive Functions

25. At the preschool and early elementary ages, when children are transitioning to formal schooling, the fundamental psychological resources that are predictive of long-term success have been shown to be executive functions and:

A. Connection to others

B. Effortful control

C. Resilience and motivation

D. Social competence


26. Experts have concluded that low self-esteem, trauma, and poor physical health are the most significant factors in the impairment of prefrontal cortex function and inadequate executive functioning.

A. True

B. False


Interventions That Address Mindsets, Learning Strategies and Resilience-Academic Mindsets

27. The notion that students are more likely to persist through academic challenges when they believe the effort will make them smarter and lead to success is referred to as:

A. The expansion mindset

B. The prosperity mindset

C. The advancement mindset

D. The growth mindset


28. Student Success Skills is a program where students work in groups to improve goal setting and progress monitoring, build a supportive social community, bolster cognitive and memory skills, and deal with pressure and anxiety, and it has been shown to increase reading and math achievement.

A. True

B. False


29. Leaders in schools with much more diverse student bodies are beginning to recognize that all students benefit from an education that encourages students to strive for success, not fear failure, and persist, and that persistence is more likely in learning environments that are intentionally designed to promote it.

A. True

B. False


Project-Based Learning and Design Thinking Models

30. Design thinking uses brain storming, imagination, collaboration, prototyping, and feedback in a system where students learn to 'fail early and often' and use evaluation to improve a task.

A. True

B. False


Informal Learning Programs

31. Which of the following is generally NOT one of the settings for informal learning that occurs in and out of school settings?

A. Cultural field trips

B. Planned activities run by volunteers or youth leaders

C. Meetings in an institutional environment during off-hours

D. Mingling with working professionals


Digital Learning Environments, Online Resources, and Tools for Teachers

32. One benefit of digital learning environments is that they can provide information about behavioral task performance, affective responses, and physiological responses that can be used dynamically within a system or provided to teachers to adapt instructional tasks to learner needs, which is known as "meso-level" data.

A. True

B. False


33. The digital program "Brainology" is an interactive workshop that teaches students about the "growth mindset" as they are given a series of activities to enhance brain growth through effort and practice.

A. True

B. False


Moving Forward

34. Although substantial data are available about the impact of grit, tenacity, and perseverance, it is not possible to isolate the potential impacts of the non-cognitive factors themselves as the interventions are very complex.

A. True

B. False


Conclusions and Recommendations

35. In order to promote grit, tenacity, perseverance, educational stakeholders need to look to the research base for best practices and programs that are suitable to local control and:

A. Are practical and cost effective

B. Advance structure and policy

C. Are mature in development

D. None of the above


36. Students must initially have the opportunity to take on short term goals that guarantee success before being expected to move on to challenging "high order" goals.

A. True

B. False


37. Academic mindsets to support perseverance include "I have willpower when I'm distracted," "My long-term goals are the most important," and "I can and must be responsible."

A. True

B. False


Programs, Approaches and Technologies that Promote Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance

38. A growing body of research indicates that in order to significantly impact strategies in the middle grade levels and higher, time frames for interventions should be:

A. 2 to 10 hours

B. 6 to 14 hours

C. 10 to 18 hours

D. 14 to 22 hours


Conclusion 3

39. Educators and administrators should evaluate technology with respect to the degree to which its design is grounded in principles aligned with research-based best practices for fostering these competencies.

A. True

B. False


Need for Structural and Systemic Supports, Advocacy, and Parental Support

40. Which of the following is NOT one of the barriers that professionals cite when implementing approaches to promote grit, tenacity and perseverance?

A. Accountability driven school cultures emphasizing gains on standardized tests may be inconsistent with the practices necessary to promote these qualities

B. Most teachers do not have access to professional development with explicit guidance for how they should integrate these practices and approaches into their own unique settings with their particular student populations

C. A great number of school professionals do not believe these strategies promote critical qualities such as academic rigor and educational success

D. Many school cultures have not implemented and supported practices to promote valuing of these types of qualities and some believe they are the responsibility of the parent rather than the school


Conclusion 5

41. One recommended strategy for parents to help their children is to instill a growth mindset through consistently praising effort over ability, which can have important payoffs.

A. True

B. False


Need for Conceptual Clarity and Theoretical Refinement

42. Researches, practitioners, and policymakers who are seeking to make progress to promote non-cognitive factors face challenges with clarity when the same term is used to describe different concepts or when different terms are used for the same concept, which is known as:

A. The wishy/washy problem

B. The rickety/rackety problem

C. The jingle/jangle problem

D. The criss/cross problem


Conclusion 7

43. Experts believe that deep consideration must be given to the fact that grit, tenacity, and perseverance will look quite different depending on the nature of the goals students are striving for and the challenges they face.

A. True

B. False


Conclusion 9

44. Research indicates that developing grit, tenacity, and perseverance should always be within nonacademic disciplines because within core subjects such as math, science, and language arts, the focus must be on intellectual context.

A. True

B. False


Conclusion 12

45. Although there are many programs demonstrating impacts in particular contexts, there is still a gap between the research and how practitioners can use the various intervention approaches effectively across a wide variety of settings for a diversity of students, so further studies are needed in this area.

A. True

B. False


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