Education and the Gritty American Student


“Were these magic grits? I mean, did you buy them from the same guy who sold Jack his beanstalk beans?”- Vinny Gambini

Ahhh…. grit. The magic elixir of the corporate education reformer. That vague ideal the gritty American, able to overcome all odds through gritty perseverance. The Rooster Cogburn, all-American hero True Grit. (Did you know you can measure your grit on an easy-to-do, unbelievably short, ten question multiple choice quiz? No extraordinarily long essay to test your grit needed!)

Thankfully though, grit as an educational tool is being questioned: see here, here, and here.

Fordham University associate professor of political science Nicholas Tampio wrote this about grit: “The opposite of grit, often enough, is thinking, wondering, asking questions, and refusing to push a boulder up a hill.” Read his piece “Teaching ‘grit’ is bad for children, and bad for democracyhere.

Gritty teeth are easily fixed with a good toothbrush. If only getting these reformers out of education was as easy…