This project arises out of emergent concerns over the growing neoliberalisation of education in general, and in particular, the relevance of grit, resilience, and the Growth Mindset. There currently exists a research lacunae, following the widespread adoption of approaches informed by this ethos, throughout the Education sector. Deployment of these approaches is still growing, yet there is a genuine gap in our understanding of the impact and consequences of these interventions. This proposal focuses on research into the increasingly contested notions of Resilience, Grit, Mindfulness and the Growth Mindset. Specifically, we are interested in how these are represented within Higher Education, and what this means for us as educators, learners and crucially the role and nature of the Academy itself.

The primary aim of the project is to interrogate these notions, and assess the extent to which students, teachers and researchers are well-served by them. Through interviewing academics, working across the HE sector, we intend to explore the impact of individualised discourses of resilience, et al, and their role in shaping perceptions of Higher Education and its assumed purpose. There is substantial overlap between this project and a (Learning Innovation For Tomorrow) LIFT-funded project, From ‘Grit’ towards collaborative pedagogic and academic praxis: A 21st Century Model. The LIFT aspect of the work has a more student-facing focus, and is linked to the development of learning and teaching approaches that complement and integrate the findings of this project,

You can see some of the blogging we did, as we began to work out the ideas in this project here.