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A Look Back: “Zootopia Movies Highlights Importance Of Grit, But Also Its Limitations”

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In February, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Leading up to it, I’m re-starting a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ll be re-posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years.

You might also be interested in:

 A Look Back: Best Posts From 2007 To 2009 

 A Look Back: 2010’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2011’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2012’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2013’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2014’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2015’s Best Posts From This Blog

This post was originally published in 2016:

I just came back from taking my grandkids to see the new Disney movie “Zootopia.”

Though I agree with other reviewers who say the movie’s message on race and prejudice is a bit muddled, I also have to say that I think it provides an excellent perspective on “grit.”

At the beginning, he movie’s star, Judy the rabbit,  exemplifies the sterotypical belief in grit – she will try, try, try and succeed, and won’t let anything stop her. As the film goes on, however, she finds that her individual grit isn’t enough — she has to deal with additional challenges she faces from the attitudes and prejudices of society at large, and needs advice and assistance from others to ultimately succeed.

This story reflects what I wrote in my Education Week Teacher column titled ‘It’s Time to Change the Conversation About Grit’:

researchers David Yeager, Gregory Walton and Geoffrey L. Cohen have defined [it] as “the fuller formula for success: effort + strategies + help from others.”

The movie’s message is particularly timely in light of very recent cautions from Carol Dweck (Carol Dweck Makes Strongest Statement Yet On Growth Mindset Misuse) and Angela Duckworth (NY Times Reports On Social Emotional Learning Run Amok) about the dangers of viewing Social Emotional Learning as panaceas.

Even with those concerns, I have to admit I also did like the Shakira theme song for the movie, “Try Everything,” and see how that could be used as part of an SEL lesson.

Here are the lyrics to the song, along with four videos:

* The official music video to the movie

* A “lyrics video” of the song

* Two official trailers to the movie

You might also be interested in:

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

The Best Video Clips Demonstrating “Grit” – Help Me Find More

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

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

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