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The Intellectual Virtues: Perseverance

Lisa Eekhoff| June 27, 2019

Much has been written lately about the power of grit. Studies demonstrate that possibly the greatest indicator of success is not raw talent, but rather passionate persistence.

“Studies demonstrate that possibly the greatest indicator of success is not raw talent, but rather passionate persistence.”

This tenacity is one of the intellectual virtues that we seek to nurture in our students at Covenant.  We want them to develop the perseverance needed to focus on a difficult problem until a solution is found, the patience to master a concept completely, and the courage to continue even when the going gets tough.

We intentionally present students with the opportunity to practice tenacity on a daily basis. Teachers extend wait time after a question is asked in order to allow students to go beyond first reactions and begin to think more deeply. Students practice the slow and steady repetition of skills in math fact drills, handwriting practice, and grammar chants. They are asked to rework mistakes they have made, finding errors and working diligently until they are corrected. Step by step, bit by bit, these daily practices develop perseverance in our students, giving them the gift of grit that is essential to success.

“We want them to develop the perseverance needed to focus on a difficult problem until a solution is found, the patience to master a concept completely, and the courage to continue even when the going gets tough.”

This approach to teaching leads to more than just the development of scholars; it guides the formation of character.

We seek to not only equip our students with the tools for learning that will allow them to approach unfamiliar subjects with confidence, but more importantly to instill in them the intellectual virtues that will guide them in their pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty.

About the Author: Lisa Eekhoff is the principal at Covenant Classical School in Naperville, IL.

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