‘The Slingshot Project’ is Prepping Students for Success By Teaching Them the Qualities of Grit

A boy holding a slingshot.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

As parents and as educators, we would give anything to see our children thrive. That’s why we spend years upon years trying to put our children on the best path to success.

Traditionally speaking, success has often been regarded as something that is predetermined; we tend to associate it with those who are exceptionally talented and highly intelligent. But a new program called The Slingshot Project is challenging that mode of thinking.

Ken Mehlman, founder of The Slingshot Project, believes it is grit, not just talent or intelligence, which ultimately determines success. For those unfamiliar with the term, grit refers to the ability to triumph in the face of adversity. A good synonym would be “perseverance.”

The good news about grit is that it is a character trait, not an innate ability. In other words, it can be taught.

And that’s the whole idea behind The Slingshot Project. The program will study the coping mechanisms that underprivileged students use to overcome misfortune. Those coping mechanisms will then be taught to other students, who can use the strategies to overcome their own challenges.

Angela Lee Duckworth, PhD, has been studying the subject for years. Her research findings lend academic credence to Mehlman’s belief that grit is a better indicator of success than talent or IQ.

“Grit may be as essential as talent to high accomplishment,” Duckworth stated. “If it’s important for you to become one of the best people in your field, you are going to have to stick with it when it’s hard.”

The Slingshot Project is revolutionary in the sense that never before has anyone tried to teach these skills to students. If successful, we could very well have a new generation of children who are better equipped to handle the obstacles and challenges that life throws their way.

“I don’t think anyone’s figured out how to make people smarter, but these other qualities of grit may be teachable,” Duckworth concluded.

To learn more about The Slingshot Project, click here.

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