Join us Tuesday, October 8, 2013 as Brookwood School welcomes Paul Tough, author of the New York Times best-selling book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. Click for tickets: Paul Tough, October 8, 2013.
Tough will discuss cutting edge research that shows character, not intelligence, may be the most important attribute when it comes to children finding success in school and in life. The program, part of Brookwood’s 4 to 14 Speaker Series: Parenting Elementary School Kids, begins at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a book sale and signing.
In How Children Succeed, Tough challenges the accepted notion that success is simply about intelligence and achieving the highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. Through compelling reporting and conversations with educators and researches, Tough argues the qualities that matter most in attaining success have more to do with character traits: skills like perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control. He cites the latest research that shows overcoming adversity is what produces character. And character, even more than IQ, is what leads to real and lasting success.
The author introduces readers to a new generation of researchers and educators who are using the tools of science to peel back the mysteries of character. Through their stories - and the stories of the children they are trying to help - Tough traces the links between childhood stress and life success. He also uncovers the surprising ways in which parents do - and do not - prepare their children for adulthood.
He says, “My reporting for this book took me all over the country, from a pediatric clinic in a low-income San Francisco neighborhood to a chess tournament in central Ohio to a wealthy private school in New York City. And what I found as I reported was that there is a new and groundbreaking conversation going on, out of the public eye, about childhood and success and failure. It is very different than the traditional education debate. There are economists working on this, neuroscientists, psychologists, and medical doctors. They are often working independently from one another. They don’t always coordinate their efforts. But they’re beginning to find some common ground, and together they’re reaching some interesting and important conclusions.
Kirkus Reviews gave How Children Succeed a starred review (May 1, 2012) writing: “Turning the conventional wisdom about child development on its head, New York Times Magazine editor Tough argues that non-cognitive skills (persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence) are the most critical to success in school and life. … Well-written and bursting with ideas, this will be essential reading for anyone who cares about childhood in America.
Alex Kotlowitz, Wall Street Journal reporter and author of There Are No Children Here, is just one of a multitude of reviewers who have praised How Children Succeed: “At its core is a notion that is electrifying in its originality and its optimism: that character - not cognition - is central to success, and that character can be taught. How Children Succeed will change the way you think about children. But more than that: it will fill you with a sense of what could be.
Paul Tough is a contributing writer to and former editor at the New York Times Magazine, where he has written extensively about education, parenting, poverty, and politics, including cover stories on character education, the achievement gap, and the Obama administration’s poverty policies. He has worked as an editor at Harper’s Magazine and as a reporter and producer for the public-radio program This American Life. His writing has also appeared in the New Yorker, Slate, GQ, Esquire, and Geist, and on the op-ed page of the New York Times. Prior to How Children Succeed Tough wrote Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America, which was published in 2008.
By working in partnership with our teachers, we hope that parents will explore the many ways in which we can encourage children to take responsibility for their own success in school and in life. Attending parent/teacher education events like the 4 to 14 Speaker Series program on October 8 is another way for us to share a common understanding of the latest child development research.
Located on the Beverly-Manchester line just minutes from Route 128, Brookwood is a co-ed day school for students in grades Pre-K through 8. The address is One Brookwood Road, Manchester, MA.