I’m back in New York on business where I get to meet with a friend who is working with a pioneering charter school and in fact does some teaching himself. Across town is another charter school, Kipp Academy, where embracing failure is part of the curriculum. They dub it the “Grit Movement”.

Grit = Resilience (“when you get knocked down, you bounce back up”) + Persistence (“being able to go through challenges and struggles, to be able to work with focus independently”). It is a contrast to the “trophy generation” where everyone wins a prize for just taking part. Kipp programme co-founder, Dave Levin, explains…

  • “’I think for the kids that are very privileged, I think that you can actually bake into a school culture moments where they do fail.  Moments where they do find out it’s not as easy.’”

Brian William in his MSNBC video report describes….

  • “These two educators hope to provide a model for every school and every child all across the country.  They also realize that they are up against a lot of parents who don’t want to hear a lot of talk about failure and much prefer A’s and B’s for their kids than the grittier reality of C’s and D’s.”