How Children Succeed

Read our book review on Paul Tough's bestseller, "How Children Succeed"

By Momentous Institute | Jan 26, 2015
Book Review

Book Review: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
By Paul Tough
 
What it’s about:
 
A new field of research is showing that what helps children succeed is not test scores alone, but rather “noncognitive skills”, otherwise known as character traits: grit, self-control, curiosity. This book talks aboutfailure as the root of character. Children from privileged backgrounds often don’t have enough opportunities to fail. Children growing up in poverty often aren’t given the essential support to turn that failure into a life lesson. Tough’s background as a journalist dives into some of our society’s most challenging questions, such as what can we do about income and educational inequality?
 
What we love about it:
 
There are a lot of names for what Paul Tough writes about in this book – noncognitive skills, soft skills, social emotional health, emotional intelligence – but they all say the same thing. Character development is more than report cards and I.Q. tests. We love this book for bringing to light a subject that is essential to what we believe. These skills matter. Teaching kids how to persevere in the face of adversity, how to turn failure into success, and how to set and follow through with ambitious goals is the most important thing we can teach our children. How Children Succeed is provocative and hopeful. It has the power to change the way we think about the future of children, and how we as adults should approach childhood.