By Thomas Gold, VP, Research and Evaluation
The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship congratulates the research psychologist Angela Duckworth for her incredible accomplishment in becoming a 2013 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship. Dr. Duckworth’s pioneering work is on the role that grit and self-control – non-cognitive skills – play in the way young people learn. Her research has made a major impact on the way we view educational attainment, achievement and success in young children, which, for too long, has neglected these critical components in favor of focusing mostly on cognitive skills and the performance on standardized tests.
Dr. Duckworth’s research strongly informs the work of NFTE, a global non-profit that provides entrepreneurial education for young people across the world. For the past 25 years, NFTE has provided programs that build skills in young people from low-income communities to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities and to plan for successful futures.
Our reach has covered 500,000 middle and high school students, and we’re growing. We believe that building an entrepreneurial mindset that incorporates the ability to persevere, learn from your mistakes, act on opportunity and take calculated risks are key to preparing young people for the rigors that today’s world presents them and to compete in an increasingly competitive global economy. NFTE is also working to develop measures of these skills – an Entrepreneurial Mindset Index – in innovative ways so that schools and school districts have more than just test scores to inform their policies and programs in the 21st century.
We celebrate the success of Dr. Duckworth and look forward to learning from her work to inform ours in the coming months.