Be Confident, Show Grit

It is argued having 'grit' is just as critical to academic performance as intellectual ability

Over the course of the September holiday, I was fortunate to attend two conferences in Sydney. A keynote Address by Dr Adam Fraser, a leading Australian educator, explored the theme of ‘grit’ amongst our younger generations.

Recent research now attributes ‘grit’ to be as essential as intelligence, in terms of high achievement. Fraser suggests that in addition to content knowledge and academic skills, students must develop sets of behaviours, attitudes, skills and strategies in their classes. Whilst these character traits will not be reflected in scores on tests, Fraser argues they greatly attribute to a student’s ability to achieve optimum academic performance.

It is not clear what makes people ‘grittier’ than others but it is believed grit is something people can most probably learn. We do know grit can wax and wane as well, depending on the environment. A student, exceptionally self-disciplined about their sport training or Music rehearsal, yet in their Mathematics class, can give up at the slightest frustration. Students with grit are known to persevere through situations.

We as educators would be remiss not to provide challenge for our students, to push them and in doing so point out areas of strengths and weaknesses. As a School, we are the bridge between a ‘cushioned’ life of School and the harder edges of the real world.

We enable girls to run the risk of not being selected, not gaining an A, mixing with people other than their friends, learning from someone they may not quite relate to; in other words, we strengthen our students. At Assembly this week, I encouraged the girls, and in particular for the Year 12 students entering their final weeks of School, to show some grit this Term when faced with challenges, to persevere, and not lose sight of goals and to keep dreaming.

“Be confident and show that you have true grit!”

Mrs Michelle Carroll

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