How Children Succeed
11+, GCSEs, A-levels sometimes it seems that the story of our children's lives is of one academic test after another. We're convinced that a good performance in these exams will lead to success later in life but what if we're wrong?
How Children Succeed introduces us 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, acclaimed journalist and bestselling author Paul Tough traces the links between childhood stress, childhood cosseting, and life success. He uncovers the surprising ways in which parents prepare or fail to prepare their children for adulthood. And he provides new insights into the best ways to help children growing up in poverty.
Early adversity, scientists have come to understand, not only physically affects children's lives, it can also alter the neurological development of their brains. But now educators and doctors are using that knowledge to develop innovative interventions that allow children to overcome the constraints of poverty. And with the help of these new strategies, as Tough's eye opening reporting makes clear, even children who grow up in the most painful circumstances can go on to achieve amazing things.
In fact, studies are increasingly showing that the qualities most likely to ensure a better degree, a better job and, ultimately, a more fulfilling life are perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control. These qualities are known to economists as 'non-cognitive', to psychologists as 'personality traits' but to the rest of us as 'character'.
This is a provocative and profoundly hopeful book that will change the way you think about raising and educating children.
About the Author
Paul Tough is the author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America, and the author of a series of acclaimed articles on character and childhood, in the New York Times Magazine and the New Yorker.
He is a contributing editor to the New York Times Magazine and a frequent contributor to the public-radio programme, This American Life. He lives with his wife and son in New York.
Paul is going to be answering your questions on How Children Succeed.
This giveaway has now closed. If you weren't lucky enough to bag one of the free books, you can always buy How Children Succeed in paperback or Kindle, and then Share your thoughts, post a question to author Paul and the discuss the book on the discussion thread.