Research findings stipulate that grit is a relatively new concept, but it has a strong relationship with academic excellence. Also, the type of leadership in schools and from teachers individually has a propensity to affect how students perform in their academic work. The commitment of teachers to ensuring that students excel in their studies is of paramount importance, with the findings citing their role in inculcating trust from students. With the use of interviews and questionnaires as a means of data collection, the data would be analyzed to determine the effect of teachers' commitment and the correlation between grit and academic performance.
Cognitive factors correlate with the academic success in various disciplines of study. For instance, scientists have found that academic excellence in the doctor of pharmacy courses is highly dependent on the previous successes. Also, stronger academic and test competence are other factors associated with high performances. Instructors and higher education institutions are placing a high emphasis on the performance in licensure examination of their graduates, and have increased the need for the teachers to design a leadership style that ensures excellence. And while cognitive factors influence the academic performance, researchers continue to show interest in investigating the impact of non-cognitive factors on the same. As such, this research will look at the teachers' mediating effect of the commitment and moderating effect of their leadership style on the grit and performance of the licensure examination students.
Does grit affect the performance of students in licensure examinations?
How does the leadership style of teachers affect students' commitment?
How does the teachers' commitment mediate in the relationship between grit and performance of students in licensure examinations?
How does teachers' leadership moderate in the relationship between students' grit and their performance in licensure examination?
Depending on the context, grit can have various meanings, including firmness of character, an indomitable spirit and the likes (Cosgrove, Chen & Castelli, 2018). However, in the context of academic performance, grit is used as an implication of perseverance and passion for long-term goals (Andersen, Heinesen & Pedersen, 2014). Current research on academic performance posits that factors that relate to character and trait, like mental toughness and perseverance have a positive relation to excellence in academic fields, as well as in real-world setting (Lee, 2017). This finding implies that if students with less academic ability can still perform equally well as those with more academic ability, then there is a factor that can be used to measure academic capability, other than performance.
The relationship between grit as a personality factor and academic performance and success is rather a new concept (Mason, 2018). As of date, only a handful of researchers have worked on this phenomenon, and Duckworth et al. (2007) are arguably the pioneers. Duckworth et al. argue that achievement in academics is as a result of a combination of innate talent, as well as effort (2007). In other words, Duckworth et al. argue that success is not solely achievable by the students' ability but by the combination of personality traits like grit and deliberate practice and cognitive ability (2007). Research by Hogan & Wong (2013) also stipulates that grittier individuals work harder and for longer and are generally more inclined to engage in deliberate practices that would enhance success in their endeavors. Further, these researchers found out that grittier individuals are more diligent and persistent, and are not discouraged by setbacks or failure due to their focus on the goal (Cohen, 2017). The same researchers also stipulate that less gritty individuals do not have the same traits of perseverance and impeccable courage to their goal or project.
While leadership has different definitions, under the current situation, the general meaning narrows down to influence, direction or persuasion of a group or a person to move in a particular direction (Lim, Ha & Hwang, 2016). The leadership of a school is no different, which is the process of influencing and guiding teachers, other staff, and students toward achieving a common educational goal. Most of these institutions have jurisdictions of formal educational systems for guiding learners until they qualify (Sohrabi et al., 2015). Research posits that teachers' commitment to students is vital in developing traits that help them to excel in studies. Teachers' commitment is essential in helping students adopt a growth mindset, promote social and emotional intelligence, as well as encourage them to take risks by creation of a comfortable learning environment (Sohrabi et al., 2015). Leadership in schools, therefore, is vital, due to its capacity to influence people and change discourse (Wong, 2015). Good leadership will result in a commitment of the same magnitude because there is a strong correlation between leadership and management. Leadership on personal levels is of paramount importance, especially in the current study (Sohrabi et al., 2015). The type of leadership that teachers exhibit can have massive impacts on grit and students' performance in licensure examinations. Research posits that some personality traits are developed through coaching and meaningful interactions, implying that it is possible to impact perseverance into someone's life.
Due to the nature of the research in the current study, it is appropriate to use a case study to answer the research questions. Moreover, the research tools for collection of data will be interviews and questionnaires, which are suitable for collection of data that needs more details in explanation. A case study is vital in this kind of research because it helps in the exploration and comprehension of complex issues. Case study as a research method is essential, especially when an in-depth investigation is required; reminiscent of this current study. It is important also to note that the use of a case study as a research method is a robust research method especially when character-like aspects like perseverance, mental toughness, etc., and community-based problem are involved in a study, such as cultural issues, poverty, education, etc. For this reason, then, the use of a case study as the research method is justified.
The Significance of the Research
Grit is a concept that is heavily applied in the educational setting, and it was previously associated with the effectiveness of teachers and their retention. Grit, further, has been cited as a powerful indicator of academic excellence and achievement. This research is significant in expanding the theoretical knowledge of grit and how different factors can affect it, as well as student's performance in licensure examinations.
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