Date of Award

Fall 11-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. John D. Long

Second Advisor

Dr. Beth Kania-Gosche

Third Advisor

Dr. Kevin Winslow


Grit, defined as the tendency to pursue long-term goals with sustained zeal and hard work, was shown to predict achievement in academic, vocational, and avocational domains. In 2009, Duckworth and Quinn found that grit predicted student effectiveness in school and the concept of grit was largely unrelated to talent. Grit provided incremental predictive validity for achievement outcomes, particularly in settings of high challenge. From the combination of persistence, self-control, and more broadly, conscientiousness, emerges the concept of grit. The purpose of this study was to compare the relative grittiness of students from two different high school settings. The first of these was a non-traditional technical high school. The second was a traditional suburban high school. One hundred students from each high schools took the Grit-S survey to determine their level of grit. It was found that students attending the non-traditional high school and students attending the traditional high school had no statistically different level of grit. However, students from the nontraditional technical high school had an observably higher level of self-reported grit. Teachers and administrators were interviewed to determine their perceptions about grit. Qualitative analysis of their responses rendered three commonalities. The first theme was a definition of grit rooted in persistence and self-motivation. The second theme was the need for adults to model grit for the benefit of their students. The third theme was a lack of difference between the genders in perceived grit or academic prospects. This dissertation expanded on the research of Grit and Student Performance as it relates to students who attend a non-traditional technical high school and students who attend a traditional high school. There was a lack of previous research comparing these iii two distinct types of high schools. After the data was gathered and analyzed no significant differences were found. This dissertation provides ideas for future research and its results may possibly change attitudes about students in both high school settings.


Copyright 2015