A fellow teacher came across this clip about 'Grit' which I found really thought-provoking.
Angela Lee Duckworth, (a teacher turned psychologist), defines "Grit" as passion and perseverance for long-term goals. Her studies found it was the most significant indicator for success. Although there have been few studies done on it she says having grit is something you can teach.
So should we purposefully be teaching grit considering its impact?
Articles like these make me reevaluate what we are trying to achieve in our reception class. The past term I have continued to struggle with the balance of getting the nuts and bolts of literacy underway with the intensive Quick 60 programme, while also trying to incorporate play-based learning, as well as trying to shape students into the Pt England Way in order to cope with the structure and expectations of classroom and school life their journey here will involve.
It feels that the main emphasis ends up being on shaping in order to have a classroom that is managed and prepared well but I'm not sure that this is the way to go. In order to undertake the intensive literacy teaching requires the other children to be able to be more self-managing. While having free playing is generally easier in term of keeping children engaged and on track it does need a greater variety of equipment like in kindy and also does little to prepare them for what their school-life beyond the reception class will be like. So I have tried to have a mixture of structured activities and free choice playing. But some students really struggle with the structured activities. So on reflection it feels that the main lessons I am teaching are that at school you have to do what is asked of you and there are consequences if you don't, and rewards if you do......not really the learning I was hoping for.
Big question. Should we really be having such a focus on beginning to learn the nuts and bolts of literacy when to do so requires so much of the teacher's time and focus? Or should we be putting more emphasis on building things like grit, thinking skills and social skills?
How can I design a programme that achieves the best results and what are these results? What qualities are we trying to achieve and what are the priorities of those qualities? How much emphasis can we put on certain attributes over others which may be to the detriment of others?
Lots of evaluation and discussion needed.