Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Resources For Learning About “Grit”


'Perserverance' photo (c) 2008, Wesley Fryer - license:

Check out my lesson at The New York Times for English Language Learners on “grit”, which includes a student interactive & teaching ideas.

Also, see my three-part Ed Week series on grit

Perseverance, or what Professor Angela Duckworth has labeled “grit,” is a key personal quality, and perhaps THE key quality, needed for success — according to her research.

I have a lesson plan on grit in my most recent book, Helping Students Motivate Themselves, and thought readers might find it useful to have a The Best…” list with additional resources.

You might also find some useful videos at The Best Videos Illustrating Qualities Of A Successful Language Learner.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources For Learning About The Importance Of “Grit”:

The Truth About Grit is an excellent article that appeared in the Boston Globe.

Which Traits Predict Success? (The Importance of Grit) is from Wired.

post, The Most Effective Thing I’ve Done To Prepare Students For Standardized Tests, one way I have used idea in my classroom.

Grit: Perseverance and Passion For Long Term Goals is a very accessible summary Professor Duckworth has written about her research.

And here is the link to her actual study of the same name.

If you go to link and scroll down a little bit you, and your students, can take her “grit study” after free registration.

The Myth of Innate Genius by David Shenk is a related article.

Here are two interviews with Professor Duckworth.

Here’s a short summary of her research.

Here’s a video of a talk Professor Duckworth gave on her research:

comes from Dr Kathie Nunley’s Educator’s Newsletter: “…task persistence in young adolescents
is extremely predictive of their income and occupational levels as adults. In males, it’s actually more predictive than even intelligence. Researchers
measured task persistence in 13 year olds and found that high task persistence predicted higher grades throughout high school and higher educational
attainment in adulthood. Andersson, H. & Bergman, L. (20100). “The role of task persistence in young adolescence for successful educational and
occupational attainment in middle adulthood.” Developmental Psychology, May 30, preview (no pagination specified).”

You might want to consider starting off a lesson on grit with video: Now Is What You Call Perseverance!

The Future of Self-Improvement, Part I: Grit Is More Important Than Talent
is not a new research study, but it does give a good short review of the research by Angela Duckworth about the importance of grit,or perseverance.

“The box score shows failure. To Lin, it reads like a teachable moment”

Everything You Wanted To Know About Grit, But Were Afraid To Ask…

In Spite Of Everything is a cartoon representation of a Vincent van Gogh quote.

Black Men’s College Success Depends on Grit, Not Just Grades, Study Finds is from Sarah Sparks at Education Week.

President Obama On Perseverance

(You can find the transcript to Professor Duckworth’s TED Talk here)

Michelle Obama On “Grit”

Grit: The Other 21st Century Skills is by Jackie Gerstein.


video is part of a new TED-Ed Lesson titled There’s no dishonor in having a disability. You can see the entire lesson here.

All I can say is…Wow.

The Significance of Grit: A Conversation with Angela Lee Duckworth doesn’t really have anything new to people familiar with Duckworth’s work, but it does provide a good overview.

No, L.A. School Reformers, Grit Does Not Equal Giving Students Rewards & Being Data-Driven

Highlights Of A Reddit Chat With Angela Duckworth & Roland Fryer

One of those resources I mentioned earlier in list is a simple “grit” test that anyone can take (it’s at Professor Duckworth’s site), and that I’ve had my students use. It’s useful, though you do have to register there before you can take it, and I don’t think the feedback given is particularly helpful.

However, I just discovered that The Globe and Mail have published a version of it online that can be taken without needing to register, and I like the feedback a bit better. It’s combined with a nice article on grit research.

Another new resource is a nice collection at Middleweb titled Helping Students Stick With Learning.

“Grit” Isn’t Everything, But I Still Think It’s Important For Students To Learn About (& Practice) It

True Grit: The Best Measure of Success and How to Teach It is by Vicki Davis.

Grit – motivating students is from teflreflections.

How Important is Grit in Student Achievement? is from MindShift. It gives a good overview of the research on the topic.

This Looks Interesting, Though I Have Some Concerns: Angela Duckworth Creates “Grit” Organization
This Has Me Concerned: “Study Links Teacher ‘Grit’ with Effectiveness, Retention”

DO TEACHERS NEED MORE ‘GRIT’? is an excellent series of commentaries at Education Week Teacher.

The Downside of “Grit” is by Alfie Kohn. I still think it’s an important concept to help students learn. However, this kind of backlash is understandable since some proponents have been communicating it as the answer to many educational problems. In fact, it’s just one of many skills our students need to develop in order to be successful.

Grit, Failure & Stuff Like That

Dilbert Demonstrates How The Concept Of “Grit” Can Be Misused

Reacting to personal setbacks: Do you bounce back or give up? is from Eureka Alert.

‘Grit’ May Not Spur Creative Success, Scholars Say is from Ed Week.

Self-Control, Grit & All That Stuff

Why Self-Control and Grit Matter — and Why It Pays to Know the Difference is from The APS Observer.

“Grit” Runs Amok In The New York Times

Quote Of The Day: “Getting Better At Difficult Things”

Is Grit Racist? is from Ed Week.

Quote Of The Day: The Appeal Of “Grit”

Second Quote Of The Day: Reasonable Thoughts On “Grit”

Measurement Matters….Maybe Not So Much

Quote Of The Day: Is Grit Always A Good Thing?

Students with ‘grit’ do not push themselves to excess is from The BBC.

“Why ‘grit’ isn’t always a good thing”

CNN Video “Can Grit Be Taught?” Shows Its Seductive Attraction & Lurking Danger (If You Look For It)

Getting real about grit: 6 things every teacher needs to know is by Angela Watson.

New Study: With Grit, You Need To “Know When To Fold ‘Em”

“Getting Gritty with It.” is from The Wellington Learning and Research Centre and is really quite good. The study makes a good connection between grit, growth mindset and metacognition.

The Limitations of Teaching ‘Grit’ in the Classroom is from The Atlantic.

Get Motivated to Persevere! Lesson

Video: “Better Call Saul” Scene Illustrates The Limitations Of Grit

Angela Duckworth has a useful Q & A page on her new (at least, to me) website, along with an online “grit scale” that anyone can take.

How To Make Sure Your Kids Have Grit, 6 Secrets Backed By Research is from Barking Up The Wrong Tree.

Angela Duckworth Criticizes Assessing “Character” For Accountability Purposes In NY Times Column

Grit under attack is a pretty interesting piece from The Hechinger Report.

Feedback is welcome.

If you found post useful, you might want to look at the 670 other “The Best…” lists and consider subscribing to blog for free.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. This is “good stuff.” Wish I had had more grit learning when I was in school.

    Two other good references:
    1. Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania wrote a book with Christopher Peterson of the University of Michigan called Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification. One of Seligman’s graduate students was Angela Duckworth.
    2. New York Times article: What If the Secret to Success Is Failure?

    See the blog post for URLs:

  2. Here’s the direct URL to the NYT article on What If the Secret to Success is Failure?

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Skip to toolbar