When the Focus on ‘Grit’ in the Classroom Overlooks Student Trauma – The Atlantic

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http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/12/when-grit-isnt-enough/418269/?utm_source=SFFB

“We are asking students to change a belief system without changing the situation around them.”

“The transformative potential in growth mindsets and social-emotional skills such as grit may be more applicable to students whose basic needs are already met. When asking the question of why some children succeed in school and others don’t, he said the educators and administrators tend to overestimate the power of the person and underestimate the power of the situation.” (Excerpt)

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Can You Instill Mental Toughness?

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These just might be the mechanics of “grit” (aka self-efficacy ). Mental toughness is related. This is one of my favorite interests: resilience.

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To be mentally tough is to resist the urge to give up in the face of failure, to maintain focus and determination in pursuit of one’s goals, and to emerge from adversity even stronger than before. Psychologists claim that almost everyone can benefit from strengthening these skills, even those people we might consider paragons of mental toughness: army drill sergeants. The U.S. military is now implementing a resilience-building program, designed by a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, intended to make soldiers as rugged in mind as they are in body. This effort—one of the largest psychological interventions ever attempted—holds lessons for anyone who wants to strengthen their mental muscles.

Drill sergeants were chosen to receive the training because they’re in a position to teach the service members under their command, promoting a trickle down of psychological resilience. The program’s key message: Mental toughness comes from thinking…

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