Module Three

Module Three - Theories Behind the Program

Overview and Purpose

The aim of Module Three is to provide facilitators with the knowledge of the theoretical principals behind the program.


  • To understand the theories behind the program

​The Get GRIT Program is based on strategies and evidence-based techniques drawn from Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Growth Mindset theory.


​​Cognitive Behaviour Therapy


Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) involves a combination of cognitive and behavioural concepts and techniques through a process of re-education (Corey, 2013).   CBT links cognitions to feelings and behaviours and encourages students to reflect on their beliefs and thinking about themselves and other people and their resulting behaviours.  CBT can help break the cycle of unhelpful negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours (Squires & Caddick, 2012). CBT assists students by giving them the tools to enable them to control their behaviour by building appropriate social competency through techniques such as relaxation training, problem solving approaches, social skills training and self-regulation approaches (Ghafoori and Tracz 2001).


Applications to practice


CBT can help students to:


  • Challenge distortions in thinking (Squires & Caddick, 2012)

  • Assist students in generating solutions to problems (Squires & Caddick, 2012)

  • Identify triggers and modify behaviour responses that are more appropriate to ambiguous situations (Squires and Caddick, 2012)

  • Help students see the positives and negatives of aggressive and non-aggressive responses (Squires & Caddick, 2012)

  • Improve self-monitoring to recognise arousal states and raise awareness of behaviour (Yeo & Choi, 2011)

  • Build appropriate social skills and tools to control their behaviour (Ghafoori & Tracz, 2001)


 For more information, see: Video on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Growth Mindset Theory


Growth Mindset is a concept developed by Carol Dweck, a professor of Psychology at Standford University.  A Growth mindset is the belief that a person’s abilities and intelligence can be developed through practice, hard work, dedication and motivation (Dweck, 2008). A fixed mindset is the belief that intelligence taken alone will lead to success and that they are fixed and cannot be developed or improved upon (Dweck, 2008). Changing the way students perceive their own abilities and potential can drastically improve their performance.  Too often students live in the now rather than the yet and as a result they focus on their limitations rather than their potential.

For more information, see: Video on Growth MindsetVideo on Growth Mindset



Social and Emotional Learning


The Get GRIT Program supports the personal and social general capabilities in the Australian Curriculum.  The program aims to develop skills in the four interrelated elements outlined in the Australian Curriculum, including self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and social-management.

For more information, see: Australian Curriculum 


The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) identifies five broad headings under which Social and Emotional Learning falls:

  • Self-awareness: Identifying and recognising emotions; recognising personal interests and strengths; maintaining a well-grounded sense of self-confidence.

  • Self-management: Regulating emotions to handle stress, control impulses, and motivating oneself to persevere in overcoming obstacles, setting and monitoring progress toward the achievement of personal and academic goals; expressing emotions appropriately.

  • Social awareness: Being able to take the perspective of and empathise with others; recognising and appreciating individual and group similarities and differences.

  • Relationship skills: Establishing and maintaining healthy and rewarding relationships based on cooperation and resistance to inappropriate social pressure, preventing, managing, and constructively resolving interpersonal conflict; seeking help when needed.

  • Responsible decision-making: Making decisions based on a consideration of all relevant factors, including applicable ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms; the likely consequences of taking alternative courses of action; evaluation and reflection.​


For more information, see: Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning