It is not hard for me to get off task! As one of two people who ‘leads’ the World of Learning Institute at IU8, I have a variety of tasks and work that I do to keep our scrappy little group together.

So, as I was preparing some of the professional development on Mindset, that we will offer in the upcoming school year, I was reading articles that discussed why Grit and Growth Mindset both are important in education.

As you can see, I am down the off-task road, 100%. Yet it was exciting because it made me think of all the examples of people who truly expanded their mindset in our World of Learning Institute. Carol Dweck Ph.D., is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation. She examines what she calls mindsets, which people use to regulate their behavior. Her research looks at where mindsets originate, and the role of mindsets in motivation and regulation of self, and the impact that mindsets have on achievement and interpersonal processes. Being growth-oriented plays a large role in the World of Learning. We try and help districts to provide flexible options, which means we have to think beyond how we normally do things. Sometimes it is a stretch! Sometimes it takes perseverance! And often, we succeed! Together.


I applaud our teachers who, when I ask them to stretch one more time – demonstrate Grit. They exhibit the scrappy nature of sticking it out when times are tough, and when it would be easy to slip back into what they have always done. That isn’t always easy!

Angela Duckworth, Ph.D., from the University of Pennsylvania, also leads the way in her study of Grit. She describes how particular personality traits can predict success better than other factors, such as IQ and socioeconomic level. Since several of us in the WOL are entering our wiser years, I posit that before this research was fleshed out and after it, too, many of us had Grit (another topic maybe?). But, it makes me glad to know that by being passionate and persevering we can encourage and support others who are not there YET!

In the spirit of celebrating the passion, hard work and the perseverance that it takes to succeed, I want to honor a few of the many amazing people who have created an environment that truly has, as we say at IU8, create learning experiences that have been beyond expectations. The success is a result of the many, who have demonstrated Grit, Perseverance, Passion and a Growth Mindset, who are a part of our World of Learning team.

Here are a few examples of Passion, Perseverance, Grit, and Growth in the WOL:

  1. Our Spanish, French and German Instructors created a culminating experience for their learners that offers a wide scope to demonstrate their knowledge, finding their

passion to solve a problem, using their target language. Students and teachers alike can revel in the problem, seeing many ways to show meaning as their students learn. Seeing the teachers collaborate to get these problems ‘just right’ for each level learner filled my heart with song!

  1. Bearn Sensei completed her Intern Certification candidate. She had great credentials which include a Masters’ Degree in Japanese Pedagogy before she began, yet she dove in head first to complete teacher certification for the state of PA with Wilson College TIP program. She has been joined in the program by Brown Sensei and Buckwalter Sensei who will finish their certifications soon!
  2. In the meantime – Brown Sensei and Bearn Sensei contributed countless new activities to our curriculum – that offer alternatives to tests and final exams (Yeah! Project Based Learning). Not an easy switch from such a traditional subject area.
  1. Our little WOL team has converted lots of our content to FREE OER lessons that can be used by anyone! Check them out HERE!
  2. Senora Young, too, has made some amazing contributions. You can see her blog tips for using virtual resources in any learning setting HERE . She has also contributed to our OER content and to CORELL, presented our programs to folks at the PA SAS Institute and IU3 Waterfront Learning Day.

Well, that is enough for one post. I better get back to the work at hand. Check back regularly to see our Tips and Offerings.

Think about how your organization supports growth, grit, perseverance, and passion… All key to learning, leading and changing how we help each other to learn.

What do you think the connections between a growth mindset and happiness is in your school and life? How do you feel when you work hard and after not hitting the

mark a couple of times, then you succeed? How is this different than when you complete something that is easy?

Do you think teachers should “teach” grit and mindset? Do you think this would help teachers and schools?  If so, why?

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