top of page


“This is an insightful and moving analysis of how students from marginalized backgrounds use their work with video to tell their stories, develop critical thinking skills, and overcome obstacles.”

 - Pedro A. Noguera, University of California, Los Angeles.


Speaking out against decades of injustice and challenging deficit perceptions of young learners and their families, It’s Not About Grit pulls back the veil, revealing the social systems that marginalize and stigmatize mostly poor, urban students of color and their communities. At the same time, author Steven Goodman, founding executive director of NYC’s highly acclaimed Educational Video Center (EVC) for nearly 35 years, shows the tremendous intelligence, resilience, and sense of agency of these students. Through the students’ in-school and out-of-school experiences, enhanced with a curriculum guide and award-winning video clips from EVC, Goodman encourages educators to make a difference and demonstrates how to create a safe and inclusive school climate where their teaching responds to students’ culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, language, housing status, and ability. Teachers will use this book to develop a pedagogy of transformative teaching.


Book Features:

  • Draws on the author’s many years of practice with struggling learners who may be experiencing the trauma of poverty, violence, or family separation.
  • Uses a unique blend of students’ personal stories, classroom experience, and social and political policy to inform the teaching of marginalized students.
  • Provides a comprehensive review of the issues that students bring to the classroom, including health and housing, police and juvenile justice, immigration, gender and identity, and foster care.
  • Links to original clips from student-produced video documentaries and a curriculum guide to spark discussions in college courses, professional development workshops, and high school classes:


It's Not About Grit can be purchased directly from its publisher, Teachers College Press.