New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Investigation of the Short Grit Scale for Use in an English Writing Course in Japanese Higher Education

James Ellinger, University of Tokyo (Japan)

Lui Yoshida, University of Tokyo (Japan)

Diego Tavares Vasques, University of Tokyo (Japan)

John Maninang, University of Tokyo (Japan)


Achieving difficult goals over the long-term requires perseverance and passion, otherwise known as the non-cognitive trait grit. Grit has previously been shown to predict success outcomes beyond what is explained by cognitive traits such as IQ. In the present study, we translated the Short Grit Scale (Grit-S) from English to Japanese and adapted it for use at a Japanese university. The participants in this study were first-year science students enrolled in a compulsory academic writing course. All students were non-native English speakers. In this course, students learn the scientific method and apply it by designing a simple experiment. The experiment provides a springboard for students to write a paper in the Introduction-Methods-Results-Discussion format. The gritty aspects of this course are 1) that it was conducted entirely in English; 2) the requirement to develop deep critical thinking skills in an education system that has traditionally focused on standardized testing and entrance examinations; 3) that for nearly every student this was the first exposure to highly structured writing in English; 4) the iterative process of drafting and revising. The Japanese translation of the Grit-S was validated using responses from 197 participants and generated acceptable scale reliability for each factor:  Consistency of Interest (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.78) and Perseverance of Effort (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.75). This result shows that the adapted Grit-S has potential for application in an academic writing course in the Japanese context.

Keywords: grit, academic writing, English language learning;


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