Parental Perceptions of Grit: First Steps Towards Building Effective Character Education Programs

Cara Song, Nancy Maynes

Abstract


In 2007, Angela Duckworth and her team of researchers coined the term “grit” to define a non-cognitive construct that entails perseverance and passion for long-term goals. In this exploratory study, descriptive survey methodology was used to determine what parents and their preadolescent students of a Northern Ontario public school (N = 8) knew and perceived about grit. Regardless of prior knowledge, participants shared perceptions of how they believed schooling should be and specific strategies perceived to support grit development. In addition, using variations of the 8-Item Grit Scale (the Grit-S), it was found that children considered themselves to be grittier than their parents perceived them to be. Collectively, these findings suggest the need for further study on perception research, on the assessment of non-cognitive traits, and on grit itself. Most importantly, these findings imply the premature incorporation of grit into school board character education policies based on inconsistent grit knowledge and interpretation.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jse.v9i2.14577

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