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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Linda Skrla

First Committee Member

Ronald Hallett

Second Committee Member

Marcella K. Smith


This qualitative collective case study explored how four female Latina teachers in the Central San Joaquin Valley acquired and developed the noncognitive trait of grit. Additionally, this study explored how the manifestation of this noncognitive trait of grit is demonstrated by these teachers with students in their classrooms. Through a series of interviews, and classroom observations with annotated field notes, I examined the life experiences and professional educational background of participants in order to highlight factors that are contributory and fundamental in the underpinnings of how grit developed in each of their lives. I examined and analyzed distinctive traits, specific influences, and behaviors.

The theoretical framework developed by Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews and Kelly (2007) provided the background structure to help in understanding the noncognitive trait of grit. This exploration extended current scholarship on grit by exploring one specific cultural and gendered-subset of teachers to aid in the understanding of how grit emerges in teachers deemed exceptional.

This qualitative case study addresses the following questions:

1. From the perspective of four female Latina teachers, what is grit?

2. From the perspectives of four female Latina teachers, in what ways has grit been acquired, developed and demonstrated?

3. From the perspective of four female Latina teachers, how has gender and race shaped their experiences in grit?

4. From the perspectives of four female Latina teachers, and as evidenced by student outcomes, how does the trait of grit impact teacher effectiveness?



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