Helping Children Succeed
What Works and Why
Paul Tough challenges our culture’s belief that intelligence, endlessly measured by test scores, is the sole indicator of value in our education system. It’s not. In How Children Succeed, he ushers in a tidal change in thinking and argues that non-cognitive skills—or, character—are better indicators of success: curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, self-control, and grit.
“Every parent should read this book—and every policymaker, too.”— Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit
In his latest book, Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why (2016), education speaker Paul Tough offers a practical guidebook for improving the lives of children growing up in adversity, containing all-new strategies based on the emerging science of success. A contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, Tough is also the author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America, which focuses on the steps necessary to improve the lives and education of underserved children. Through the case study of the Harlem Children’s Zone, Tough describes the inspiring struggle to establish a way to combat poverty that could be replicated nationwide. Tough has also contributed to This American Life and The New Yorker, where he has honed his focus upon education, poverty, parenting, and politics. The film rights for his New York Times Magazine cover story “A Speck in the Sea,” about the rescue of fisherman John Aldridge, have been acquired by Harvey Weinstein for production by The Weinstein Company.
“Paul Tough facilitated our educators retreat for dozens of school superintendents, university deans, directors of education organizations and staff members from the Ohio Department of Education. He not only used a very cohesive and thoughtful PowerPoint presentation format but also posed excellent inquiry questions for table discussion. Mr. Tough referred to examples from his book, challenged the audience to think about non-cognitive traits, and cited background research at appropriate times. One participant stated, ‘The conversation was outstanding. It renewed my faith that the right combination of adult support, nurturing, teaching and coaching can overcome the greatest of obstacles.’ The educators, who attended this retreat, gave it some of the highest ratings.”Martha Holden Jennings Foundation
“Thank you for participating in the PBS and CPB sponsored breakfast ‘Our Kids, Our Communities, Our Future’ at the PBS Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Your presentation about How Children Succeed was funny, informative and helped to demonstrate the importance of being a champion and mentor to underserved children, and the power of public media to foster engagement. I continue to hear from station leadership and project managers who were inspired by your address and are excited to think differently about ways to engage their community. Thank you again for illuminating our thoughts with your research and anecdotes.”Corporation for Public Broadcasting