Study: Student perseverance linked to economic growth
- In the past, research has shown that a country’s scores on the Programme for International Student Assessment tends to reflect its economic growth, but new research also indicates that students' ability to complete a test with as much attention at the end as they had at the beginning is also a predictor of whether that country is on an upward economic climb, Chalkbeat reports.
- Consistency in the test performance is one way to evaluate hard-to-measure skills like grit or perseverance and this latest study, published in the Economics of Education Review, is the first to try to quantify the economic impact of these characteristics.
- On the 2006 PISA, the U.S. scored in the middle of the pack among 60 countries, measured both in overall performance and in the decline of performance over the course of the test. The U.S. has been an outlier on these tests, however, because its economic growth tends to outpace other countries with similar scores.
This most recent research offers another interesting look at factors that affect the economic growth of a nation and also underscores the importance of teaching intangibles such as grit and perseverance. These qualities not only affect student performance in terms of work accomplished and test scores, but they also have an impact on how a student deals with work situations and life in general.
Former president Calvin Coolidge once said, “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
Dave Martin, the author of 12 Traits of the Greats, defines perseverance as “doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Perseverance is continued persistence.” Education leaders and teachers must have this quality if they are to succeed in impacting the lives of students. And they must learn to instill that quality in students if those students are to have the best chance to succeed in life. Perseverance can be taught through stories, through play, through role-playing and through research into the lives of great leaders who often had to overcome adversity in order to succeed. However, the most powerful way to teach perseverance is through the lives of the teachers and educators who act as role models for students.