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Grit and Growth Mindset for Middle School Girls

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

What is Grit and why are we “Getting Gritty” at Orchard House?

When we think of grit, we think about passion, persistence, determination, and stick-to-itiveness or what we like to call “work-around.” There is a growing body of research explaining why grit matters. Basically, children with grit (regardless of IQ or test scores) are far more likely to succeed in school and in life than those without.

According to Angela Duckworth at the Character Lab,

“Excellence sometimes seems like the result of natural talent. But no matter how gifted you are—no matter how easily you climb up the learning curve—you do need to do that climbing. There are no shortcuts. Grit predicts accomplishing challenging goals of personal significance. For example, grittier students are more likely to graduate from high school, and grittier cadets are more likely to complete their training at West Point. Notably, in most research studies, grit and measures of talent and IQ are unrelated, suggesting that talent puts no limits on the capacity for passion and perseverance.”

Stanford professor Dr. Carole Zweck talks about student grit in terms of having a “growth mindset.” At Orchard House we recognize the importance of helping our students develop a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset. We know that students with a growth mindset (or grit) are more likely to respond to setbacks by working even harder, rather than getting frustrated and giving up. By building the expectation of risk into their lessons, our faculty are encouraging students to speak up about uncertainty. They are celebrating the student’s willingness to tackle discomfort and get gritty!

Orchard House considers itself a process school. We help our girls get gritty along their personal journey of learning. We focus on the process of learning and not on the product of the learning. We know that the process of learning is messy, and sometimes you have to fail forward. We know that girls grow best and develop confidence through these learning experiences that are fostering their competence.

By getting gritty OHS girls develop a strong, authentic sense of self along with the confidence, tools, people skills, problem-solving ability and critical thinking to go out into the larger world and make a difference. Got grit? We do!

On Saturday, November 3, members of our faculty will be offering Let’s Get Gritty, a one-day meetup designed for 4th grade girls. During this fun and energetic day of investigation, exploration, and self-discovery, girls will explore their passions and discover their grittiness. Register here to get your daughter started on her journey to grit!