Educational Grit and Psychological Trauma


  • Janetta L. Harris
  • Bobbie J. Murray


This paper examines the connection between educational grit, as espoused by Dr. Angela Duckworth, and psychological trauma. The authors explore the relationships between education, mental health, and societal needs. Since there is limited research available, the authors begin by addressing the basics. Part One answers the question, what is grit, and explains the components of grit. Part Two provides a definition and overview for trauma, with special emphasis on psychological trauma. From that discussion of terms, the authors provide further analyses in Parts Three and Four. Part Three addresses the question: How does trauma affect learning, and what is the impact on educational outcomes? The authors draw conclusions as to what educators can reasonably expect from injured individuals and what resources may be available for disenfranchised populations. Part Four closes with the question: How does education affect trauma? Specifically, can education alleviate the impact of trauma, and is healing (lifelong learning and/or improvement in symptoms) possible? Without being too clinical, the authors explain one piece of the symbiotic relationship between education and psychology, with the focus being on trauma. Recognizing that education is not a cure for all contemporary social problems, nonetheless practitioners use education as a method to relieve some aspects of human suffering.