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Author: Paul Tough
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardcover: 256 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
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 for a very different understanding of what makes a successful child. Drawing on groundbreaking research in neuroscience, economics, and psychology, Tough shows that the qualities that matter most have less to do with IQ and more to do with character: skills like grit, curiosity, conscientiousness, and optimism.
"How Children Succeed" introduces us to a new generation of scientists and educators who are radically changing our understanding of how children develop character, how they learn to think, and how they overcome adversity. It tells the personal stories of young people struggling to say on the right side of the line between success and failure. And it argues for a new way of thinking about how best to steer an individual child – or a whole generation of children – toward a successful future.
This provocative and profoundly hopeful book will not only inspire and engage readers; it will also change our understanding of childhood itself.
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5
In the book How Children Succeed, author Paul Tough shares what he believes is needed to make successful children. Drawing from numerous studies and field interviews, the author conveys that character has more to do with success than IQ.
As a mother of six children, I bought this book hoping for some insight that might radically change my parenting style, or complement my parenting style to ensure success of my kids. That was not the case. This book, although extremely well written and easy to read, did nothing more than cite case studies that showed early intervention of children could propel them to higher levels of learning. Now, that’s not something new. The author states that perseverance, optimism, curiosity and self-discipline are character traits that help a child succeed more so than IQ. Although probably true, why would that be thought-provoking? Most parents would agree that a lazy child with a high IQ is probably not going to succeed as much as a strong-willed child who has self-discipline and has overcome difficulties.
Here’s what this book offered: a theory tested in the field, numerous case studies by credible psychologists and neuroscientists, and a lot of feel-good stories to support the theory. Here's what I liked about the book: in my opinion it’s all true. Yet, I did not get out of the book what I had hoped to find: a clear-cut way to ensure my children succeed. After reading this book, I have not learned anything new that I didn’t already know as a parent. I felt this book was written to motivate educators in the field and not as a helpful tool for parents.