Paul Tough, author of the fascinating new book, How Children Succeed, joins us to challenge the notion that a child’s future success is predicated on IQ and performance on standardized tests. Researchers have recently discovered that cognitive skills matter a lot less than has been previously thought and they have identified a very different set of talents that they believe are crucial to the success of kids. The skills that really affect a student’s success, it turns out, are persistence, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control. Paul Tough refers to these as character skills and in this month’s main interview, he explains what the very latest research is telling us about childhood, and about success and failure, and why this understanding is very different from what the conventional wisdom tells us.
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character
Paul Tough is the author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America and How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. He is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and a speaker on various topics including education, poverty and politics.