Grit: the power of passion and perseverance | Angela Lee Duckworth

TED

TED

6 min, 13 sec

The speaker discusses the concept of 'grit' and its role in success, based on her experiences as a teacher and a psychologist, and her research into various challenging settings.

Summary

  • The speaker taught seventh grade math in New York City public schools, where she noticed that the most successful students weren't always those with the highest IQ.
  • She pursued a career in psychology to understand the factors contributing to success, conducting research in various challenging environments, such as West Point Military Academy, National Spelling Bee, and tough neighborhoods.
  • Her research found that 'grit', defined as passion and perseverance for long-term goals, significantly predicted success, not IQ or social intelligence.
  • She studied grit in Chicago public schools, finding that grittier students were more likely to graduate, regardless of their income, standardized test scores, or safety at school.
  • Despite the importance of grit, there is little scientific understanding of how to build it.
  • The speaker mentions the 'growth mindset', developed by Carol Dweck at Stanford University, as a promising idea for building grit. It's the belief that the ability to learn can change with effort.
  • The speaker calls for more research and testing of ideas to build grit in children, stressing the need to learn from failures in this process.

Chapter 1

Introduction and Teaching Experience

0:00 - 56 sec

The speaker reflects on her teaching experience, noticing that success wasn't solely based on IQ.

The speaker reflects on her teaching experience, noticing that success wasn't solely based on IQ.

  • The speaker left a demanding job in management consulting for a more demanding one in teaching.
  • She taught seventh graders math in New York City public schools.
  • She noticed that IQ was not the only difference between her best and her worst students. Some of her strongest performers did not have stratospheric IQ scores.

Chapter 2

Pursuing a Career in Psychology

0:56 - 1 min, 56 sec

The speaker decides to study psychology to understand better the factors contributing to success.

The speaker decides to study psychology to understand better the factors contributing to success.

  • She left the classroom and pursued a career in psychology, studying kids and adults in various challenging settings.
  • In every study, her question was, who is successful here and why?
  • She conducted research at West Point Military Academy, National Spelling Bee, tough neighborhoods, and partnered with private companies.

Chapter 3

Definition and Importance of Grit

2:52 - 36 sec

The speaker defines 'grit' and discusses its importance in achieving success.

The speaker defines 'grit' and discusses its importance in achieving success.

  • Grit, characterized by passion and perseverance for long-term goals, emerged as a significant predictor of success in her studies.
  • Grit involves sticking with your future and working hard to make that future a reality.
  • Grit is living life like it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Chapter 4

Studying Grit in Schools

3:28 - 37 sec

The speaker takes her research to Chicago public schools to examine the role of grit in academic success.

The speaker takes her research to Chicago public schools to examine the role of grit in academic success.

  • She started studying grit in the Chicago public schools, asking high school juniors to take grit questionnaires.
  • Grittier students were significantly more likely to graduate, even when matched on every characteristic measured, such as family income, standardized test scores, or safety at school.

Chapter 5

Building Grit

4:05 - 1 min, 27 sec

The speaker discusses the challenges in building grit and mentions the 'growth mindset' as a promising concept.

The speaker discusses the challenges in building grit and mentions the 'growth mindset' as a promising concept.

  • The speaker discusses how little is known about building grit.
  • The best idea for building grit she's heard is 'growth mindset', developed by Carol Dweck at Stanford University.
  • Growth mindset is the belief that the ability to learn can change with effort, and it encourages perseverance in the face of failure.

Chapter 6

Conclusion and Call to Action

5:32 - 31 sec

The speaker concludes by calling for more research and testing of ideas to build grit in children.

The speaker concludes by calling for more research and testing of ideas to build grit in children.

  • The speaker calls for more research, testing of ideas, measurement of success, and willingness to learn from failures in the process of building grit in children.
  • She emphasizes the need to be gritty about getting kids grittier.

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