The European Journal of Engineering Education just published the systematic review that Inês Direito and Manis Malik and I conducted. For this study, we located and reviewed all the journal articles and conference papers in the field of engineering education that dealt with university-level engineering students’ “grit”.
Grit was defined by Angela Duckworth and it involves two parts: persistence (consistency of effort) and passion (consistency of interest).
We analyzed the data, results, and findings reported in each article. We carefully and critically considered each author’s discoveries and interpretations.
We used a highly structured approach to studying groups of papers on a common theme; this method is called a “systematic review” of literature on a given subject. We wanted to answer one main question: What type of studies have been conducted on grit in engineering higher education, and what were the main outcomes?
The title of our paper is The study of grit in engineering education research: a systematic literature review and we have paid for Open Access so that you can download it and read it for free.
This is a new area of study among engineering education researchers and only 2 journal articles had been published by the time we were collecting data (spring 2018). On the other hand, 29 conference papers were available in the engineering and education databases we used.
By studying the content and findings of these 31 papers, we were able to identify trends and unresolved questions. We made recommendations about things that need more investigation–and also about the best way to report findings to help make the reports more valuable to engineering educators and researchers.
Collaborating with Inês and Manish on this project was a joy–it was a huge challenge and realizing this publication required loads of grit–but doing this work with these budding scholars was also fun and rewarding. We decided to do this project together because we wanted to learn the systematic review method, execute it well, and learn about the psychological construct of “grit” at the same time.