education | February 03, 2013

What Is The Cognitive Hypothesis? Education Speaker Paul Tough [VIDEO]

"The conventional wisdom that's governed our thinking about child development and education for the past couple of decades has been misguided," education speaker Paul Tough explains in his keynote about educational knowledge. "We've been emphasizing the wrong skills and abilities in our kids and we've been using the wrong strategies to develop those skills and abilities." In the talk, he used material from his bestselling book How Children Succeed to demonstrate how our idea of what skills are important for success in life is flawed. As he notes in the talk, he calls this flawed conventional wisdom about education the "cognitive hypothesis"—the belief that the one thing that matters most in the successful development of a child is his or her IQ.

Through detailed, multi-disciplinary research, Tough proves that this is not the case. As he advocates in his book and his talks, non-cognitive traits are just as important—if not more so—than intelligence. This breakthrough idea explores the way that nature and nurture are intertwined, and helps parents better prepare their children for adulthood. Tough gives audiences a lesson in childhood development to help us to better chart a successful course for them in the future.