How children succeed

How children succeed

How children succeed

Date posted: June 7, 2013


How children succeed: grit, curiosity, and the hidden power of character.

Paul Tough. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.

The author argues that the qualities that matter most for success have more to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control. Through the stories of researchers and educators, and the stories of the children they are trying to help, the author traces the links between childhood stress and life success. He uncovers the surprising ways in which parents do, and do not, prepare their children for adulthood. And he provides new insights into how to help children growing up in poverty.

Some of the book’s premise is based on Angela Duckworth’s research into ‘grit’. Hear what she has to say in this short TED talk.

David J. Rosen speculates on whether this research also applies to adult learners in Noncognitive or Performance Character Skills in Adult and Transitional Education, a post on his Adult Literacy blog.

To borrow this book, email

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