Based on scientific research, grades are neither reliable nor valid nor objective and it is better to focus on your mindset, defined as: the effort you invest to improve; the willingness to work hard and to persevere and to always give your best.
The proof that this is more valuable to a student’s development has been given by Dr. Angela Duckworth with her research about a non-cognitive trait she refers to as ‘GRIT’.
Grit according to her definition is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals.
What does this mean?
Grit = the ability of a person to work with passion and perseverance on a long-term goal and to not give up until they have reached it even if they face adversity.
People who are gritty are more successful in reaching ambitious or difficult goals. Dr. Duckworth also did part of her research in schools and the results were interesting. Grit was a much more significant predictor in who would graduate than the grades or any other factors that were measured.
The following two videos provide a good overview of the concept. In the first Dr. Duckworth explains what Grit is and in the second she goes into more details about her research and its findings. Another concept that Dr. Duckworth mentions at the end of her TED talk is Dr. Carol Dweck’s ‘Growth Mindset’.
In my next blog post you can read how the concept ‘Growth Mindset’ can help you to understand why a student’s mindset is so important in becoming successful and reaching their goals.