Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer

Grit-ability: Which Grit Characteristics Enable Success for Mothers Entering University?

Abstract

Personal characteristics contributing to success in higher education has become an important area of focus in recent years. Duckworth’s (2007) grit framework shows positive correlations with a range of academic outcomes. This article explores the characteristics of grit in a study of female students who identified as mothers during their enrolment in an enabling program at CQUniversity Australia. Data was gathered from 284 participants and findings suggest that despite mothers facing competing challenges that conflict with study; demonstrating grit-ability is what enables success. The courage to begin; conscientious determination to achieve; resilience to overcome obstacles; endurance to persist; and striving for excellence were identified as key contributors to positive academic outcomes and personal fulfilment. Framework Methodology underpinned this thematic analysis using the grit terms of reference to examine survey responses. These findings highlight the relevance of grit as desirable student characteristics for experiencing success in enabling education.

Published:
Pages:22 to 34
Section: Articles
0 citation(s) in Scopus
0 citation(s) in Web of Science

Downloads

Total Abstract Views: 211  Total PDF Downloads: 116

Author Biographies

CQUniversity
Australia Australia

Anne Braund is a Lecturer at CQUniversity teaching the STEPS enabling course in the School of Access Education and providing academic communication support to undergraduate students through to Research Higher Degree candidates. Anne was awarded a Women in research scholarship to complete her master’s thesis investigating the obstacles that hinder women’s promotional opportunities within Education Queensland. Previous to Anne’s lecturing role, she worked with English Schools Foundation, Hong Kong and the University of Hong Kong in the design and delivery of their English Diploma Program.

CQUniversity
Australia Australia

Trixie James is a lecturer within the School of Access Education STEPS course at CQUniversity. Trixie’s research interests centre on the support and engagement of under-represented adults in the tertiary sector, with special interest in student engagement, quality teaching practices and positive psychology.  She completed a Masters of Learning Management in Executive Leadership with a minor thesis that investigated enabling students’ successful transition into undergraduate studies and is currently undertaking her Doctoral studies also focussing on enabling students’ progression in the course.

CQUniversity
Australia Australia

Katrina Johnston is an Associate Lecturer in the School of Access Education CQUniversity, teaching computing skills in the STEPS enabling course and providing computing support to undergraduate students in the Academic Learning Centre and she also teaches in the Digital Media course at CQUniversity. Katrina’s background is in the Digital Media industry as a Graphic Designer and she is currently completing a Masters of IT Mobile Application development. Katrina’s research interests involve both the support and engagement of under-represented adults in the tertiary sector.

CQUniversity
Australia Australia

Louise Mullaney is an Associate Lecturer within CQUniversity’s STEPS course at CQUniversity. Prior to this role she spent a decade working in a variety of high schools and primary schools across Queensland and England in several subject disciplines. Her research interests are within the enabling discipline and include mothers (particularly single mothers) and the factors to their success or failures in pursuit of their undergraduate studies.