Penn Office Hours Webinar - Got Grit? Get More?
Penn Professor of Psychology, Angela Duckworth reviews data from her lab on high achievers and shares suggestions for cultivating character "grit".
It's the one million dollar question for every parent: what are the crucial determinants of achievement and success? In this review of the psychological factors that determine achievement, Penn psychologist Angela Duckworth places a special emphasis on effort, as opposed to talent.
Date: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Time: 10:00am - 11am PDT
Cost: Free, but you must register. Click here to register.
About the Speaker
Penn psychologist Angela Duckworth Gr'06 argues that character - not intelligence, quality of instruction, family situation, or income level - is the crucial determinant of achievement in school. Now she just has to figure out how to measure character - and influence it for the better.
Every year large percentages of American elementary-school students fail to learn basic math skills like how to add fractions with unlike denominators. The situation is even worse among students from the poorest American neighborhoods, despite the fact that from fourth grade on their teachers drill them in these simple steps: find a common denominator; add the numerators; reduce.
There are many explanations for why such a simple procedure proves to be so hard to convey. Reformers and policymakers point to subpar teachers and inadequate principals; to single-parenthood and other demographic drags; to health, nutrition, and the intangible handicaps of poverty.
Assistant Professor of Psychology Angela Duckworth Gr'06 has another explanation. Before she entered graduate school at Penn in 2002 she spent five years teaching math and science in poor urban neighborhoods across the United States. In that time she concluded that the failure of students to acquire basic skills was not attributable to the difficulty of the material, or to a lack of intelligence, or indeed to any of the factors mentioned above. Her intuition told her that the real problem was character.
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