INTRODUCING A RANDOMIZED EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTION IN A DEVELOPING COUNTRY: INCREASING GRIT ON YOUNG STUDENTS
Grit, defined as perseverance and passion for long-term goals, is a non-cognitive skill that has shown to be a relevant predictor of achievement and something that can be taught, especially in the childhood age within the classroom atmosphere. The present study shows how a human–centered design approach can be used to create a program that increases this skill among a group of young students participating in a Children International sponsored program in Ecuador. The main aim of this study is to learn the main challenges and leverage points this kind of programs have in order to be better suited to design an effective randomized intervention that finds the causal effects of a grit program in young students. The present study uses, as a starting point, interventions that have been done in different parts of the world wherein the results have shown promising outcomes such as: students being able to prefer a challenging and satisfying task against an easier but smaller satisfying alternative; keep going even though they have failed; dedicate hours of work in order to accumulate task-specific ability, and therefore, expect to succeed and collect higher payoffs. In Ecuador this is the first time that an intervention like this is being performed and the result of the program can be used by the governmental authorities that right now are reforming the educational system.