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GRIT Teacher Symposium

May 12, 2015

Hundreds of faculty and students descend on Cal State L.A. for CSU symposium

A record 385 faculty members and students from nearly all of the California State University campuses took part in the CSU Symposium on University Teaching at Cal State L.A.

The theme of the 18th annual event was “Grit”—the non-cognitive ability to stay focused on a goal for the long term. In all, 21 of the 23 CSU campuses were represented at the March 13 and 14 symposium, as well as faculty members from 14 additional colleges and universities across California.

The event was a fast-paced, interactive practical conference. Sessions were organized much like a good classroom—hands-on, interactive and designed for faculty who wanted instant take-away information for their own classrooms.

Faculty understand that students come to the CSU with different talents and intellectual experiences. However, as researcher Carol Dweck noted, not all traditionally high-achieving students do well, and not all traditionally low-achieving students fail. In other words, talent and intelligence alone do not determine success.

Researcher Rachel Beattie from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and faculty developer Mary-Ann Winkelmes both presented compelling evidence. Their respective studies showed that attention in the college curriculum to habits of mind, such as self-awareness, clearly improve student learning.

The Center for Effective Teaching and Learning (CETL) at Cal State L.A. and the CSU Institute for Teaching and Learning sponsored the Symposium, with additional support from the CSU Faculty Development Council.