Helping Children Succeed
What Works and Why
Paul Tough challenges our culture’s belief that intelligence, endlessly measured by test scores, is the sole predictor of how well a child will do in school and in life. In his bestselling book How Children Succeed, he ushered in a tidal change in thinking with his argument that non-cognitive skills or character strengths—qualities like curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, self-control, and grit—are actually better indicators of success than IQ.
“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 chronicled the inspiring story of the Harlem Children’s Zone. Tough has also contributed to This American Life, The New Yorker, and the Atlantic, where he has honed his focus on education, poverty, parenting, and politics.
“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