An Innovative Summit for Educators

2016 Summit focuses on the intersection of grit and imagination in the classroom 

Over 150 educators and leading researchers from around the world gathered in Philadelphia in the summer of 2016 for the three-day Grit+Imagination: An Educator Summit, hosted by the Relay Graduate School of Education (Relay), Imagination Institute, and Character Lab, in honor of Dr. John M. Templeton, Jr. The Summit explored the juxtaposition of grit, defined as passion and perseverance for long-term goals, and imagination, an essential component of creativity, curiosity, and innovation. While imagination offers the foresight to see beyond “what is” to “what could be,” grit is what turns that vision into a reality.  

The Summit offered a space for educators and researchers to learn from each other’s expertise. Leading scholars in both grit and imagination, including Angela Duckworth, Martin Seligman, Scott Barry Kaufman, and Susan Engel, suggested ways to apply cutting edge research to the classroom to cultivate grit and imagination in students.  Educators then had the opportunity to develop classroom practices that can ignite character-based growth.

“Though grit and imagination are two important character traits for success, we often treat them as opposed to each other. However, many of the highest achievers find ways to incorporate both dreaming and doing into their work,” said Scott Barry Kaufman “Educators that combine the two can be an inspiration for students, setting them up for success in the classroom and beyond.”

Researchers also contributed to a series of videos and Big Think pieces, which have been released by Relay, Character Lab, and the Imagination Institute. We hope that these videos and think pieces will serve as a helpful resource for educators interested in character-based instruction. All materials can be found at the links below.