How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character


By (author) Paul Tough

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  • Format: Hardback | 231 pages
  • Dimensions: 157mm x 231mm x 28mm | 431g
  • Publication date: 4 September 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Boston
  • ISBN 10: 0547564651
  • ISBN 13: 9780547564654
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 37,014

Product description

Why do some children succeed while others fail? The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. But in "How Children Succeed," Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter most have more to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control. "How Children Succeed" introduces us to a new generation of researchers and educators who, for the first time, are using the tools of science to peel back the mysteries of character. Through their stories--and the stories of the children they are trying to help--Tough traces the links between childhood stress and life success. He uncovers the surprising ways in which parents do--and do not--prepare their children for adulthood. And he provides us with new insights into how to help children growing up in poverty. Early adversity, scientists have come to understand, can not only affect the conditions of children's lives, it can alter the physical development of their brains as well. But now educators and doctors around the country are using that knowledge to develop innovative interventions that allow children to overcome the constraints of poverty. And with the help of these new strategies, as Tough's extraordinary reporting makes clear, children who grow up in the most painful circumstances can go on to achieve amazing things. This provocative and profoundly hopeful book has the potential to change how we raise our children, how we run our schools, and how we construct our social safety net. It will not only inspire and engage readers, it will also change our understanding of childhood itself.

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Review quote

"Drop the flashcards - grit, character, and curiosity matter even more than cognitive skills. A persuasive wake-up call."--"People Magazine" "In this absorbing and important book, Tough explains why American children from both ends of the socioeconomic spectrum are missing out on these essential experiences. ... The book illuminates the extremes of American childhood: for rich kids, a safety net drawn so tight it's a harness; for poor kids, almost nothing to break their fall."--Annie Murphy Paul, "The New York Times Book Review" "An engaging book that casts the school reform debate in a provocative new light. ... [Tough] introduces us to a wide-ranging cast of characters -- economists, psychologists, and neuroscientists among them -- whose work yields a compelling new picture of the intersection of poverty and education."--Thomas Toch, "The Washington Monthly" "Mr. Tough's new book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character, combines compelling findings in brain research with his own first-hand observations on the front lines of school reform. He argues that the qualities that matter most to children's success have more to do with character - and that parents and schools can play a powerful role in nurturing the character traits that foster success. His book is an inspiration. It has made me less of a determinist, and more of an optimist."--Margaret Wente, "The Globe and Mail" ""How Children Succeed" is a must-read for all educators. It's a fascinating book that makes it very clear that the conventional wisdom about child development is flat-out wrong."--School Leadership Briefing "I loved this book and the stories it told about children who succeed against big odds and the people who help them. ... It is well-researched, wonderfully written and thought-provoking."--Siobhan Curious, Classroom as Microcosm ""How to Succeed" takes readers on a high-speed tour of expe