Jamie Martin

Inherent intelligence has more impact than grit

Fads without grounding in evidence have too much influence in education – if we want to be truly progressive, we must accept that ability is largely predetermined

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Given the noble propensity of teachers to reflect on their practice even during a much-deserved holiday, many summer reading lists will have included Angela Duckworth’s book Grit. Unfortunately, the only thing she has conclusively proved is the observation of University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson that “it is very difficult to find a discipline that is more susceptible to fads than educational psychology”.

There is no evidence that grit can be taught, and every minute trying to do so is one where real knowledge and skills are not passed on. We urgently need to close ...

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