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Paul Tough

Paul Tough is the author of the new book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, in which he challenges our culture’s belief that intelligence, endlessly measured by test scores, is the sole indicator of value in our education system. The work of a new generation of researchers and educators points to the fact that the qualities that have a better shot at indicating lifelong success are “non cognitive” or what we might refer to as “personality traits” such as curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, self-control and grit.

Using the tools of science, Tough peels back the mysteries of character and traces the links between early childhood neurological development and environment. He helps us understand how early adversity affects children’s emotional, social and cognitive development in ways that will carry on throughout their entire lives, and what we can do about it.

A contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, Tough previously authored Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America, which focuses on the steps necessary to improve the lives and education of underserved children. Through the case study of the Harlem Children’s Zone, he describes the inspiring struggle to establish a way to combat poverty that could be replicated nationwide. Tough has also contributed to This American Life and The New Yorker, where he has honed his focus upon education, poverty, parenting and politics.

My Speakers Sessions

Monday, February 4

4:00pm EST