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Paul Tough's <em>How Children Succeed</em> Is One of <em>Slate's</em> Best Books of 2012
Education | November 29, 2012

Paul Tough's How Children Succeed Is One of Slate's Best Books of 2012

It's been a good year for education speaker Paul Tough, to say the least. His breakthrough book, How Children Succeed, has sparked a conversation about what we currently value in the school system—and why these values need to change. Character, not just intelligence, is vital to a child's development. The latest big-name media outlet to list his book as a vital read is Slate, which included the book on its list of the Best Books of 2012. Slate's staff (many of whom are accomplished authors themselves) picked Tough's book because, as the article reads: "As an education writer, Paul Tough goes deeper than anyone I know." The editor who chose Tough's book explains that the ideas he presents in the "well-packaged" chapters of How Children Succeed left her "full of hope about how we can make life better for all kinds of kids." In the book he uses the latest in interdisciplinary research to explain how our current system is outdated and why he need to make adjustments to it now to ensure the success of our kids in the future. 

Tough also authored the book Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America, where he tackles the challenge of poverty head-on. He provides lessons learned while working with the Harlem Children's Zone as a means to combat poverty across the nation. Some of these lessons overlap with How Children Succeed. He explains that children who come from disadvantages situations may not have the same opportunity to learn the vital character skills needed, and institutional changes must be made so that these children are given the same support and encouragement as more privileged children. He also writes for New York Times Magazine and contributes to This American Life. He incorporates his entire body of work into his speeches, where he shares his fascinating findings on learning. He argues that we need to change the mindset of the traditional education system to focus more on character building—and less on test results.
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