This week’s favorite news circles around the education mot du jour * “grit”, or a sense of tenacity or stick-to-it-iveness (another invention) needed to succeed. Whether it’s addressing the interventions needed to help transfer students stay enrolled, a French entrepreneur going against the grain with a new higher education model, or parents fighting for access to innovative teaching methods, these examples of grit should inspire all of us to keep our nose to the proverbial grindstone.  The onus to stay motivated is on students, “whatever it takes,” as First Lady Michelle Obama might put it. However, educators, parents and tech giant Google are pitching in to see where intervention and encouragement are needed for success.

The Nitty Gritty

 We Need to be Gritty about Making our Kids Grittier (Atlantic) – Grit advocate Angela Duckworth’s MacArthur Genius Award, and advice for parents and teachers for bringing out the grit in children.

Parents Work to Bring Montessori Education to Humboldt Park – Parents advocate to give their students equal access to K12 education alternatives.

First Lady’s Initiative: “College, Whatever it Takes” (New York Times) – First Lady Michelle Obama relates her success story, and encourages students to pursue college education.

Third Try Isn’t the Charm (InsideHigherEd) – A study chronicles the attrition rate of students who transfer more than once during their college education.  What interventions are needed to ensure success?

Computer Academy in France Defies Conventional Wisdom (New York Times) – A French tech billionaire builds tuition-free higher education for disadvantaged youth.

Other News

With Open Platform, Stanford Seeks to Reclaim MOOC Brand (Chronicle of Higher Ed) – Stanford faculty contribute to open education platforms, spurning nearby Silicon Valley.

Much Ado About Sebastian Thrun (InsideHigherEd) – A brief collection of reactions to the FastCompany profile of Thrun as the “Godfather of Free Education”.

Google donates $3.2 million to Study Veterans in Education – Google grants a Global Impact Award to three nonprofits studying veterans in education.


*Bonus read:  Our ad hoc  book club read “How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character” by Paul Tough, which cites much of Duckworth’s research and offers stories of success in the face of adversity.


Photo credit: Dru! via photopin CC BY-NC (modified)