The semester is winding down and I am becoming a bit reflective. I will post a final “semester of flipping” reflection in the weeks to come, but thought I would reflect on this last week in terms of student grit.
The end of the the semester reveals a student’s personality. How does a student handle stress? How does a student deal with life weaving into schoolwork? And most importantly, how does a student communicate (verbally and using body language) with the instructor and their peers? This week revealed several interesting observations.
The students who have been most successful in the flipped classroom are appear more calm, communicate well, and overall have a great attitude–they are still smiling. Those who have been less successful are skipping class, appear angry in class, and are not completing the assignments or taking shortcuts when completing them.
What does this all mean? Well, I have indicated in previous posts that level of motivation seems to effect success and satisfaction in the flipped classroom. I believe that is true as those who are intrinsically motivated (self-regulated learners, learn for the sake of learning) versus extrinsically motivated (not as self-regulated and learn for a grade), are performing better. But, there is more to this: the Grit Factor.
Grit research is fascinating and I wish I would have come across this prior to designing my dissertation study. Grit really encompasses many theories: self-determination theory, goal-orientation theory, learning strategy theory, etc.
Grit is simply “perseverance and passion for long-term goals” (Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, and Kelly). “Grit entails working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity, and plateaus in progress. The gritty individual approaches achievement as a marathon; his or her advantage is stamina. Whereas disappointment or boredom signals to others that is it time to change trajectory and cut losses, the gritty individual stays the course” (p. 1087-1088).
After Thanksgiving break, I plan on asking students to view the Angela Duckworth TED talk and reflect on how they plan on to approach final exams and their upcoming semesters. Success in the flipped classroom or even college is not about intelligence. It’s about the amount of grit in a student.