What should we do to improve the lives of children growing up in adversity? From the best-selling author of How Children Succeed, a handbook to guide readers through the new science of success.
In How Children Succeed, Paul Tough introduced us to research showing that personal qualities like perseverance, self-control, and conscientiousness play a critical role in children’s success.
Now, in Helping Children Succeed, Tough takes on a new set of pressing questions: What does growing up in poverty do to children’s mental and physical development? How does adversity at home affect their success in the classroom, from preschool to high school? And what practical steps can the adults who are responsible for them—from parents and teachers to policy makers and philanthropists—take to improve their chances for a positive future?
Tough once again encourages us to think in a brand new way about the challenges of childhood. Rather than trying to “teach” skills like grit and self-control, he argues, we should focus instead on creating the kinds of environments, both at home and at school, in which those qualities are most likely to flourish. Mining the latest research in psychology and neuroscience, Tough provides us with insights and strategies for a new approach to childhood adversity, one designed to help many more children succeed.
"Tough's research demonstrates that all children have the capacity for self-control, grit, and success if given the right tools to work with from birth. Informative and effective methods to help children overcome issues and thrive at home and in school."—Kirkus Reviews
Tough (contributing writer, New York Times Magazine) builds on the research he outlined in his book How Children Succeed to address at great depth the ways adults can build success for children who face the greatest adversity. Contending that it is the environment that shapes children's ability to develop significant noncognitive skills such as perseverance and optimism, Tough presents research that shows success in these areas is possible for all children. Diving into studies and supporting their conclusions by defining real-life examples, Tough convincingly argues that classroom climate is what needs changed in order to shape students' experiences. While advocating for transformation to a broken system that could turn disadvantaged kids' lives around, the author also acknowledges the small things that make a difference. Tough calls upon individuals to make those small steps and shows that by looking through a different lens it is possible to see how education can be better structured for the future. VERDICT For readers concerned with finding practical ways to engage with and improve education for those children with the most to lose.—Rachel Wadham, Brigham Young Univ. Libs., Provo, UT —Library Journal
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