A new thought occurred to me. Really, students need vigor, not rigor and ready for this... wit, not only grit. To vigorously pursue a goal is both definable and reproducible. That is what we need for all students regardless of socioeconomic status, ability level, resources, etc.
To pursue a goal with 'vigor' creates the ultimate conditions for success. Look at the definitions below (from dictionary.com). What do you notice?
1. strictness, severity, or harshness, as in dealing with people.
2. the full or extreme severity of laws, rules, etc.
3. severity of living conditions; hardship; austerity:
the rigor of wartime existence.
4. a severe or harsh act, circumstance, etc.
5. scrupulous or inflexible accuracy or adherence:
the logical rigor of mathematics.
6. severity of weather or climate or an instance of this:
the rigors of winter.
7. Pathology. a sudden coldness, as that preceding certain fevers; chill.
8. Physiology. a state of rigidity in muscle tissues during which they are unable to respond to stimuli due to the coagulation of muscle protein.
9. Obsolete. stiffness or rigidity.
vigorRigor seems quite negative, painful, and unrewarding. Vigor seems active, positive, and energetic. Using one's wits is the street smarts part of learning and growing.
1. active strength or force.
2. healthy physical or mental energy or power; vitality.
3. energetic activity; energy; intensity:
The economic recovery has given the country a new vigor.
4. force of healthy growth in any living matter or organism, as a plant.
5. active or effective force, especially legal validity.
Here is a similar comparison of grit and wit:
1.the keen perception and cleverly apt expression of those connections between ideas that awaken amusement and pleasure.
2.speech or writing showing such perception and expression.
3.a person having or noted for such perception and expression.
4.understanding, intelligence, or sagacity; astuteness.
-powers of intelligent observation, keen perception, ingenious contrivance, or the like; mental acuity, composure, and resourcefulness:
-using one's wits to get ahead.
-mental faculties; senses.