In my last post, I reviewed Angela Duckworth’s book Grit and highlighted some key findings and recommendations from Duckworth’s research. This week, I’m sharing two surveys families might complete and consider for engagement with some of those recommendations. It could be very meaningful for a parent or guardian to complete either or both surveys and then share results with your student. Meanwhile, your student can do the same and then share his or her results with you. Ideally, this sharing -- and the conversation that follows -- will stimulate reflection that centers on a few questions: 1) what does the survey suggest about your approach to learning and to challenging tasks, and how do you respond to setbacks? 2) how might you attempt to improve upon and grow your approach to learning and to challenging tasks as well as your response to setbacks?
The first questionnaire helps us consider our LQ score, what Daniel Coyle (author of The Talent Code) refers to as learning quotient. In evaluating learning quotient, we rate measurable skills such as diligence, relationship-building, going outside one’s comfort zone, enthusiasm, and metacognition (thinking about thinking). Most importantly, these are not fixed qualities: they can be increased, grown, and as Coyle writes, “profoundly affected by environment and group culture.” This last point speaks to the advantageous nature of York’s community as a powerful learning environment. So give it some thought: rate your learning quotient and keep praising process. Follow this link to the LQ questionnaire.
The second is Angela Duckworth’s Grit Scale. Duckworth’s research focuses on two traits that predict achievement: grit and self-control. According to Duckworth, “Grit is the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals. Self-control is the voluntary regulation of impulses in the presence of momentarily gratifying temptations. On average, individuals who are gritty are more self-controlled, but the correlation between these two traits is not perfect: Some individuals are paragons of grit but not self-control, and some exceptionally well-regulated individuals are not especially gritty.” Follow this link to the 12 item Grit Scale.
Neither of these activities should be considered definitive in their results. It would be unfortunate for a student to complete either or both and then become discouraged owing to what either indicates. To do so would be to fall into a fixed mindset. Rather, each is a tool for the type of self-reflection that can lead to improved self-understanding, which is of great value to the learning, maturation, and growth process. Give it a go and let me know what you think.
Sean Raymond, Assistant Head of School and Academic Dean