Book Talk Recap – It’s Not About Grit

Last week Steve Goodman, founding director of the Educational Video Center (EVC), joined MASCLab for a very special conversation about his recent book, It’s Not About Grit: Trauma, Inequity, and the Power of Transformative Teaching.


Founded in 1984, EVC is “a non-profit youth media organization dedicated to teaching documentary video as a means to develop the artistic, critical literacy, and career skills of young people, while nurturing their idealism and commitment to social change.”

The conversation ranged from equity to specific EVC projects and opportunities to the transformative possibilities of multimodal education. Steve was joined by two alumni of EVC to discuss the mission and guiding framework of EVC, as well as how his understanding of grit has changed over the years, following his work with EVC students. Steve first took a deep dive into how different lived experiences of students and greater social contexts and inequities get in the way of academic achievement, no matter a student’s “grit.” He then yielded the floor to his former students, who shared their experiences with EVC: how the program supported them in returning to school, the documentaries they’ve made with EVC, and their own perspective on “grit”.

Steve’s presentation was followed by question and answer with the audience, where he shared more about how to create these kinds of innovative and loving spaces in traditional classroom and school settings, as well as where there is room for hope in our education system.

EVC embodies the varied and powerful possibilities of applied multimodal scholarship, and MASCLab was so honored to facilitate this conversation!

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