Jeffrey Aaron Snyder: The Trouble with Grit

16 May

An interesting critique of “grit.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

Other writers have criticized the concept of “grit” on grounds that it seems to suggest that poor kids are poor because they don’t try hard enough, and that this shifts the responsibility for poverty for the economic system to the individuals. So many privileged kids seem to float through life on a soft pillow that it is hard to credit their success in school or life to grit, since their families smooth their paths for them as much as possible.

Jeffrey Aaron Snyder has other objections to grit. He signed up for an online course on grit education taught by David Levin of KIPP and the more he learned, the less impressed he was.

What is grit? He explains:

“Inspired by the field of positive psychology, character education at KIPP focuses on seven character strengths—grit, zest, self-control, optimism, gratitude, social intelligence, and curiosity. These seven strengths are presented as…

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