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...I was twenty seven-years-old left very demanding job and management
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consulting for a job that was even more demanding teaching.
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I want to teach seventh graders math in the new york city public schools.
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And, like any teacher I may quizzes and tests
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...out homework assignments when the work came back I calculated
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grades what struck me was that iq was not
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the only difference between my best and my...students.
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Some of
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my strongest performers did not have stratospheric iq scores
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some my smartest kids were doing so well.
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And, that got me thinking that means you need to...seventh-grade math...
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their hard ratios decimals the area of a parallelogram
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that these concepts are not impossible and I
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was firmly convinced that every one of my students could
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learn the material if they worked hard and long enough after several more
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years of teaching I came to the conclusion that what we need
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an education is a much better understanding of students and learning from a
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motivational perspective from a psychological perspective
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in education the one thing we know how to measure best
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is iq but what it's doing well in school and in life
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depends on much more than your ability to learn quickly.
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And, easily so I left the classroom and
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went to graduate school to become a psychologist.
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And, started studying kids and adults in all kinds
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of super challenging settings and every study
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my question was who is successful here and why?
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My research team I went to west point military academy we try to predict which
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cadets would stay in military training and which would drop out?
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We went to the national spelling the and try to predict which children
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...advance farthest in competition we studied rookie
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teachers working in really tough neighborhoods asking which teachers are still
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going to be here in teaching by the end of the school year and all of those who
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...the most effective at improving learning outcomes for their students we
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partnered with private companies asking which of these sales people's going to keep their jobs and
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who's going to...the most money and all those very different contexts.
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One characteristic emerged as a significant predictor success and
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it wasn't social intelligence wasnt
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good looks physical health and it wasn't iq.
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It was great.
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Great is passion and perseverance for very
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long term goals.
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...is having stamina
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...is sticking with your future day-in-day-out not just
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for the week not just for the month.
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But, for years.
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And, working really hard to make that future reality
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great is living life-like it's a marathon
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not a sprint a few years ago I started studying
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...chicago public schools.
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I asked thousands of high school juniors to...questionnaires and then
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we did around more than a year to see who would graduate.
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Turns out that grier kids were significantly more
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likely to graduate even when I match them on every characteristic
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I could measure things like family income standardized achievement
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test scores even how safe kids felt when they were at school.
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So, it's not just at west point or the national spelling bee that...matters is
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also in school especially for kids at risk for dropping out.
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To me the most shocking thing about
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...is how little we know how little science knows about
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building it every day parents and teachers ask me how do I
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build written kids what do I...teach kids a solid work ethic
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how I keep them motivated for the long-run.
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The honest answer is I don't know what I do know is that talent doesn't
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make you gritty our data show very clearly?
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That there are many talented individuals who simply do
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not follow through on their commitments in fact in...data great is
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usually unrelated or even inversely related to measures of talent.
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So, for the best idea I've heard about building...kids.
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Is something called growth mindset?
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This is an idea developed at stanford university by
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...and it is the belief.
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That the ability to learn is not
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fixed that it can change with your effort.
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Doctored...has shown that when kids read and learn
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about the brain and how it changes and grows in response to challenge
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they're much more likely to persevere when they fail
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because they don't believe that failure is a permanent condition so growth
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mindset is a great idea for building threat?
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But, we need more.
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And, that's where I'm going to end my remarks because that's where we are that's the work that stands
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before us we need to take our best ideas are strongest intuitions
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and we need to test them we need to measure whether we've been successful and
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we have to be willing to fail to be wrong to start over
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again with lessons learned in other words we need to be gritty.
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About getting our kids really your thank you.

by Angela Lee Duckworth
Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.
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