[semester equivalent = 4.00 credits]



Patricia Dickenson



The key to success is not necessarily how well a student performs on a standardized test or their ranking in school, but their ability to work hard, struggle, and persevere until they accomplish a task.  This process is what Angela Ducksworth coined “grit” and research suggests this may be the key to long term success and happiness. Knowing how to persevere in a task maybe  just as important as the knowledge within a task.  When grit is taught in the classroom this has a long-term impact that goes beyond the classroom door. Teachers can instill grit in students through relationship building, challenging tasks and active reflection. Learning how to promote grit in the classroom supports students in adopting a growth mindset so when mistakes are made students perceive this as an opportunity to grow.

This course is appropriate for teachers K-12.

This course will use the book Grit in the Classroom: Building Perseverance for Excellence in Today’s Students by Laila Y. Sanguras.  The cost of the book is approximately $13.00.  ISBN-13: 978-1618216311


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  • Gained knowledge on the role of grit in today’s classroom.
  • Developed an understanding of teachers can foster grit in their students.
  • Learned how to create tasks that support the development of grit.
  • Explore components of grit that will support the social emotional development of the whole child. 

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

The use of artificial intelligence is not permitted. Assignment responses found to be generated by AI will not be accepted.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participants their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering, determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



  • Grit in the Classroom: Building Perseverance for Excellence in Today's Students
    ISBN# 1618216317
    by Sanguras, Laila

    Buy from Amazon





Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. 
Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 

Assignment #1: Dismantling Grit

In Chapter 1: Grit in the Classroom the author identifies and describes three components of Grit: passion, perseverence, and commitment.  In the TED  Talk by Angela Ducksworth “Grit the Power of Passion and Perseverence” she reveals what leads to grit and factors that influence the development. 

In 400-500 words write about your professional situation, your reasons for taking this course and what you hope to take away. In addition, write a brief history of experiences in which you developed components of grit: passion, perseverance and commitment.  Feel free to respond to any other posting from educators who are also taking this course

Assignment #2: A Picture Says 1000 Words

A Picture Says 1000 Words
Based on Chapter 1 Readings “Grit in the Classroom” and Angela Ducksworth TED Talk:  Create a visual slideshow using either  Google Slides, Prezi or Adobe Spark to demonstrate your understanding of grit in the real-world.

Your assignment should include:

  1. A picture or illustration to represent what grit is.
  2. A picture or illustration to  represent what grit is not.
  3. A photo of a role model from your life who has demonstrated grit.
  4. A photo of a famous person who you believe has demonstrated grit.
  5. An example in your life when you have demonstrated grit.
  6. 3 Ways using images to show how you can bring grit to the forefront of students minds.

You may add notes to explain each slide or audio narrate your presentation.

Sample Presentation from Dr. Dickenson here

Assignment #3: Identifying Grit in Students

Administer the Grit Survey to a school-aged child.  You can find the grit measure here:

Determine the specific skills your student will need to acquire to develop grit in their life.
In a 600-750 word essay:

  • Summarize the students’ results and identify areas of strength and places for growth.
  • Create an action plan to determine what you will do as a teacher  to support the student:
    1. Share at least 3 teaching strategies.
    2.  What the student must do to develop grit: Share at least 3 activities or resources you might provide.
  • Review the resources in Angela’ Ducksworth Character Lab to target at least one specific character strength for development:

Assignment #4: Genius Hour Project

Review the below videos on the concept and connection to Genius hour in the classroom.  Refer to the 6 P’s template in the course textbook (p.39) and create a classroom Genius Hour Project that includes the following:

  • Identify the grade level standards, the concepts addressed, and determine what modifications you would make for students with exceptionalities
  • Create a plan for Genius hour implementation such as classroom schedule, resources, materials, community contacts, and technology.
  • Address how you will support students in each of the 6 P’S.  Review 6 P’s and ideas for implementation here:


You will need to submit a lesson plan that shares your plan for implementation.  You may use this template or one from your school district.  You should also provide your students with a graphic organizer to support planning their Genius hour project.  You may use this template or create one for your students to use. 

Please note these are Google Documents and you will need to "Make a Copy" in order to use.  Please feel free to modify to best meet your students needs and developmental ability.

Example: PE

Student Planner All Grades:

Assignment #5: Talent Development

Create an infographic based on Bloom’s Stages of Talent Development (1985).  Your infographic should demonstrate the following:

  • Images and text to represent and demonstrate your understanding of the three stages of talent development (Interest, purpose and practice)
  • Examples of classroom application of Talent Development that is appropriate for your grade and subject area.

The goal of this project is for you to create a digital poster that can be printed for student display or shared virtually on your blog or website.  The audience for your infographic is students at the grade level you teach or would like to teach. 

You can use the following free webtools to create an infographic:

Reading in the Building Grit Book: Chapter 2. Page 30

Additional Reading: Developing Talent in Young People by Benjamin Bloom

Assignment #6: Designing for Grit

Design a graphic organizer that your students can use to support students’ goals.  Your graphic organizer should contain:

  • Student targeted goal
  • Student plan for reaching goal
  • Student reflection

Sample Graphic Organizers and Ideas:

Assignment #7: Fostering a Growth Mindset

Review Chapter 4: Integrating Grit, Mindsets, and Motivation and establish a protocol for self-assessment, performance and feedback.
In 500 word essay:

  • Summarize what strategies you will implement to support student self-assessment, performance and feedback from you and peers.
  • Identify which areas of growth you will need to develop and what action you will take to improve your practice.

Additional Readings:

Assignment #8: Mastery vs. Performance Orientation

Read Dr. Dickenson’s article on Goal Orientation and create a Top Ten’s List for fostering a Mastery orientation in your classroom.  Use a digital tool  such as Google Slides, Prezi, Youtube or Glogster, and share your link with your peers in the forum.

Dr. Dickenson's Article

Assignment #9: Moving toward Design

In Chapter 5: Cultivating Passionate Students  the author shares the role of Design Thinking in cultivating passionate students. Read the chapter and Dr. Dickenson’s blog post Reboot Your Teaching Practice with Design Thinking and write a comment on the blog sharing your ideas for implementation:

Assignment #10: Supporting Passion in the Classroom

Kauffman (2012) identified 5 components, located in the course text: 102, that can be emphasized in your class to support passion in your students: Interest, time, commitment, ability, resources. Share how you will address each of these components in your classroom instruction.  You can present your ideas as an essay in 500-750 words or as a presentation.   

Listen to Author Laila Sanguras discuss the role of passion and grit in the classroom and how you can implement grit across the curriculum.

Assignment #11: Parents as Partners

Create a webpage or a newsletter to teach the parents of your students about grit.  Your newsletter or webpage may include:

  • A video to demonstrate grit
  • A picture to represent grit
  • At least 2 ideas for parents to promote grit at home with their children
  • At least 2 strategies you will implement in your class to develop grit in class.

Class newsletter ideas:



In this section, you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. ​Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 


Assignment #12: Learning Application

Take one of the classroom application assignments from this course (it can be your own work or something you found interesting on a site) and try the lesson in your classroom. 

Share at least two samples (photos) of student work from your class. Reflect on student evidence in a 400-500 word commentary on what your student work sample demonstrates in terms of their grit, perseverance and/or mindset . 

Submit your student samples and reflection to your instructor via the lesson tab below.
Share what you've learned with other teachers taking our courses by checking the lesson library box when you submit your lesson.

*Note: if you are taking this course in the summer or if you are not currently teaching in the classroom you can create two samples that would be useful to share with students. 

Assignment #13: Passion Project

Review your state standards and develop a lesson plan that builds on students' passion and connects state standards in a meaningful way.  You may use the project-based learning planner created by Dr. Dickenson or a lesson plan template that you currently use.  

Your plan should include a driving question to spark students' curiosity and interest and a student created learning product that demonstrates students ability to meet state standards in a meaningful way.  

Project-based template:

Share your lesson plan and two student work samples from the lesson.  If you are currently not in school you may create two sample products that can be shared with your class for future use. 

Assignment #14: (500 Level ONLY)

In addition to the 400 level assignment, complete two of the assignments:

Option A)  Professional Development Presentation
Prepare a Powerpoint, Keynote or video presentation that you can show to staff or parents that demonstrates strategies to support developing grit in the classroom.
Option B)  Research Paper
Identify three research studies related to motivation at either the elementary, middle school or high school (select the grade level you are teaching or planning on teaching).  Write a summary of each of the studies and determine how you would implement the ideas and strategies in your classroom teaching and planning.
Option C) Create an Assignment
Another assignment of your own design with the instructor’s prior approval. 


Assignment #15: (Required for 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

Write a 400-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Dr. Patricia Dickenson is an Associate Professor of Teacher Education. She is the Program Lead for the Bachelors of Arts In Interdisciplinary Studies with the Preliminary Multiple and Single Subject Credential. She is also the Course Lead for several Courses at National University including: TED 350 Math and Science Methods, ITL 516 Elementary Math Methods, ITL 518 Elementary Science Methods, TED 300 Foundations in Education, TED 310 Educational Psychology. Her research area focuses on mathematics professional development and technology. She has worked in higher education for the past 8 years and was a mathematics coach and elementary school teacher for the Los Angeles Unified school district for over ten years. Dr. Dickenson has published two books and has over 12 book chapters and articles. She recently received the National Council of Teaching Mathematics Grant for Classroom research,



Dickenson, P. (2019) Padlet of Resources:

Bloom, B., (1985) Developing Talent in Young People. Retrieved from:


Ducksworth, A., (ND) Grit the power of passion and perserverence.  Retrieved from:


Sanguras, L., ( 2017) Grit in the Classroom: Building Perseverance for Excellence in Today’s Students. Waco, Tx. Prufrock Press.

ISBN: 978-1-61821-631-1.  This book provides a wonderful blend of research in the area of motivation, and classroom-based practices to support and foster grit.   Written by middle school teacher Laila Sanguras, the author includes anecdotal experiences from the classroom and the latest research in motivation from growth mindset to goal orientation and how each of these theories can be applied to grit.