Little_Mavis' rants and musings

The Wrong sort of Grit

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Like many others such as @Sue_Cowley here and @debrakidd here I am a little concerned at this new-found enthusiasm for developing “character” or “resilience” or “grit” in children.

Leaving aside such considerations such as whether this is desirable, or even possible I am puzzled by the inherent contradictions in this when viewed alongside the similar enthusiasm for obedience and conformity.

The desire to have children persevere in the face of discouragement and failure in order to eventually succeed seems to be in direct opposition to the desire to have them dress in a specific way as dictated by the school or indeed, in some cases to raise their hands, or even sit in class in a precise and specified manner as described by @HeyMissSmith. Sadly I cannot show you these because the training videos she linked to are now set as private.

You see. I’m not convinced that you can expect children to show “grit” (or resilience, character, determination etc.) in certain, preferred situations but not in others. If they are expected to persevere in the face of failure or discouragement when it comes to solving maths problems, aren’t they also going to persevere with wearing their tie in the way they want to in the face of the discouragement of regular detentions or isolation?

So much of our current policy seems to want children to be quiet, conforming and to do what they are told without question. But, we now want them to persist in their efforts in the face of discouragement and opposition. Haven’t they noticed that is exactly what some children have been doing, and what they have been doing their level best to stop?

I suppose it was just the wrong sort of grit!


Author: littlemavis

Retired teacher. (also Information Scientist, Export Sales Assistant, Sales Administrator, Computer Programmer, Software Support Specialist) Worked in Sixth Form college and recently as support in a primary school.

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