What Makes For Success In School?

Anna North, a staff writer  for the New York Times, reported on January 11, 2015 (“Smarts  vs Personality in School,”): “Some researchers say that personality could be even more important than native ability in academic settings.”

This research leads educators to question if desirable personality traits can, and should, be taught in school.Traits like inquisitiveness, conscientiousness, openness, self-control, and”grit” seem to many as important for success in school as raw intelligence. Since personality is more changeable than innate intelligence over the lifespan, it seems logical to include focus on the emotional quotient aspects to student success in school. A+The Australian psychologist, Arthur E. Poropat, wrote in 2o14, “We probably need to start rethinking our focus on intelligence.  This isn’t to say that we should throw intelligence out, but we need to pull back on our thinking that this is the only game in town.”

Some schools are starting to teach “grit,” the ability to persevere in the face of tough problems and challenges. Such teaching can be incorporated into subject areas classes without robbing the curriculum of content.

Sarah C. Reese

Informed Educational Solutions

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