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How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character [Anglais] [Relié]

Paul Tough
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
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Description de l'ouvrage

4 septembre 2012
Why do some children succeed while others fail?

The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs.

But in How Children Succeed, Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter most have more to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control.

How Children Succeed introduces us to a new generation of researchers and educators who, for the first time, 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 uncovers the surprising ways in which parents do—and do not—prepare their children for adulthood. And he provides us with new insights into how to help children growing up in poverty.

Early adversity, scientists have come to understand, can not only affect the conditions of children’s lives, it can alter the physical development of their brains as well. But now educators and doctors around the country 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 extraordinary reporting makes clear, children who grow up in the most painful circumstances can go on to achieve amazing things.

This provocative and profoundly hopeful book has the potential to change how we raise our children, how we run our schools, and how we construct our social safety net. It will not only inspire and engage readers, it will also change our understanding of childhood itself.


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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Praise for Whatever It Takes:

"When it comes to an introduction about poverty and parenting in urban America, you could hardly do better than [WHATEVER IT TAKES] ."
--New York Times Book Review

"I wish every city had a Geoffrey Canada. As Paul Tough shows so vividly in Whatever It Takes, Canada is a man of integrity and heart who knows what it takes to ensure that every child has a fair shot in life. His vision of a renewed Harlem community, and his accomplishments toward achieving it, attest to the power we all have to overcome poverty and hopelessness in America."
--President Bill Clinton 

"At once a warm and immaculately reported piece of journalism and a nearly complete overview of the contemporary educational debate. A massive accomplishment, and pretty much mandatory reading for anyone working in urban education or anyone interested in the future of our democracy."
--Dave Eggers, co-founder of 826 National and author of Teachers Have It Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America's Teachers

"Paul Tough shows, from the inside, how the nation's most important work gets done."
--Adrian Nicole Leblanc, author of Random Family

"Paul Tough’s clear-eyed portrait of Geoffrey Canada offers the most cogent, provocative and original thinking on urban poverty to come along in many, many years. Whatever It Takes pushed me to question what I thought I knew. Powerful and hopeful, disturbing and daring, it’s one important book. Essential even."
Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here

"This is not just a gripping story of one man’s heroic attempt to pull an entire neighborhood’s worth of children up by their bootstraps. It’s also a wise and expansive chronicle of a living, breathing science experiment. In Whatever It Takes, Paul Tough takes on one of the biggest questions going: how do you teach people to be successful?"
Stephen Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics 

Biographie de l'auteur

Paul Tough is a contributing writer to New York Times Magazine, where he has written extensively about education, parenting, poverty, and politics, including cover stories on character education, the achievement gap, the post-Katrina school system in New Orleans, the 'No Child Left Behind' policy and charter schools. He has also been a contributor to This American Life, as part of which he reported on the Harlem Children Zone's 'Baby College', an 8-week program where young parents learn how to help their children become successful. His book about the Harlem's Children Zone is called Whatever It Takes. He lives in New York with his wife and his young son. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Détails sur le produit

  • Relié: 256 pages
  • Editeur : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Édition : 1 (4 septembre 2012)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 9780547564654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547564654
  • ASIN: 0547564651
  • Dimensions du produit: 23,1 x 15,2 x 2,8 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 20.180 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Brief Summary and Review 8 septembre 2012
Format:Relié
*A full executive summary of this book will be available at the website newbooksinbrief dot wordpress dot com, on or before Monday September 17.

When it comes to a child's future success, the prevailing view recently has been that it depends, first and foremost, on mental skills like verbal ability, mathematical ability, and the ability to detect patterns--all of the skills, in short, that lead to a hefty IQ. However, recent evidence from a host of academic fields--from psychology, to economics, to education, to neuroscience--has revealed that there is in fact another ingredient that contributes to success even more so than a high IQ and impressive cognitive skills. This factor includes the non-cognitive qualities of perseverance, conscientiousness, optimism, curiosity and self-discipline--all of which can be included under the general category of `character'. In his new book `How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character' writer Paul Tough explores the science behind these findings, and also tracks several alternative schools, education programs and outreach projects that have tried to implement the lessons--as well as the successes and challenges that they have experienced.

To begin with, Tough establishes how study after study has now shown that while IQ and scores on standardized tests are certainly highly correlated with academic and future success, that non-cognitive characteristics actually predict success better than cognitive excellence. For instance, the psychologist Angela Duckworth has found that students' scores on self-discipline tests predict their GPA better than their IQ score.
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3.0 étoiles sur 5 How children succeed 24 février 2013
Par Bernard
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Intéressant quant au principe de l'éducation devant aussi prendre en compte le développement du caractère de l'enfant ; par moments des digressions et enquêtes un peu touffues.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 The power of early parenting, environment in cyclical poverty 11 septembre 2012
Par Graham Scharf - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Following the footsteps of Jonathan Kozol, Paul Tough employs his significant storytelling abilities to help readers see and feel the plight of children, families and communities trapped in cycles of failure and poverty. How Children Succeed challenges some conventional wisdom on causes of failure (poverty, teacher quality) and contends that nurturing character in children and young adults is the key to success. As a former NYC Teaching Fellow who has lived and worked in multiple communities of cyclical poverty, I'm convinced that Tough has nailed some critical pieces of breaking those cycles.

Here is the argument in brief:
==============================
There exists in our society a troubling and growing achievement gap between the have and the have-nots. The cause of that gap is neither merely poverty nor IQ, but a specific set of non-cognitive skills including executive function and conscientiousness, which Tough calls "character." Children who acquire these skills can break historic cyclical patterns of failure.

Malleability of Character and Intelligence
==========================================
Whereas IQ is hardly malleable, executive function and character strengths - specifically grit, self-control, zest, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism, curiosity and conscientiousness - are far more malleable. These skills are better predictors of academic performance and educational achievement than IQ and therefore ought to be the direct target of interventions.

Attachment and Lifelong Health
==============================
Tough sees two key areas of influence for those who care for those trapped in cycles of poverty. The first is secure early attachment to parents. "The effect of good parenting is not just emotional or psychological, the neuroscientists say; it is biochemical" (28). Specifically, children who experience high levels of stress but NOT responsive and nurturing parents suffer from a range of lifelong health and mental health issues. However, "When mothers scored high on measures of responsiveness, the impact of those environmental factors on their children seemed to almost disappear" (32). Tough cites one study in which "early parental care predicted which students would graduate even more reliably than IQ or achievement test scores" (36). Importantly, interventions that focus on promoting stronger parent-child relationships in high risk groups (including one in which just 1 of 137 infants studied demonstrated secure attachment at the outset) have shown promising impact. Of the 137 children in the study, 61% of those in the treatment group formed secure attachment by age 2, compared with only 2% of the control group.

Adolescent Character Formation
==============================
Paul Tough highlights the work of school and support programs that intentionally focus on forming the character strength habits that enable children to learn well in schools, form healthy relationships, and avoid the destructive decisions and behavior patterns modeled in their communities. Here, too, Tough sees a ray of hope. Just as early intervention with parents and young children yields wide ranging benefits for families in poverty, so character interventions in adolescence can and do enable young adults surrounded by cycles of poverty to learn self-control, perseverance and focus that are critical for escaping the gravitational pull of their communities.

Why You Should Read This Book
=============================
Paul Tough is tackling one of the most challenging - and contentious - issues of our time. His analysis will offend those who tend to blame poverty predominantly on the irresponsible choices of the poor by showing just how powerful the cyclical, environmental pressures are on children raised in these communities. His work is just as challenging to those who think that those trapped in cycles of poverty are mere victims of their environment who bear no responsibility for their decisions. Tough shows compellingly that parents and children in poverty can and do overcome the powerful environmental forces of their communities - and that this is a beautiful and essential component of breaking cyclical poverty. His call is for those with education and influence - the kinds of people who read books like his - to demonstrate motivation and volition (two components of character formation he extols) to recognize, celebrate, and nurture the character of children and families in poverty.

Graham Scharf
Author, The Apprenticeship of Being Human: Why Early Childhood Parenting Matters to Everyone
[...]
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Is "character" the answer? 27 juillet 2012
Par Dienne - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Paul Tough sets out to answer a rather heady question in a rather slim 200 pages: what makes children succeed? To his credit, Tough packs in a dense barrage of different perspectives (economic, social, psychological, and medical) and he supports his points well with ample research. The resulting book is interesting reading and provides a great deal of food for thought. I appreciate Tough's contribution, but I have to quibble with some of his conclusions.

Tough begins his book talking about the rise of cognitive interventions in early childhood. Ever since some studies showed some positive effects of various kinds of early childhood stimulation, parents have rushed to play Mozart for their developing fetuses, companies have marketed products guaranteed to get your baby reading, and competition for the "best" preschools has become a blood sport. But Tough argues that these interventions, while well intentioned, are ultimately misguided. While cognitive skills are certainly important, and early stimulation can boost these skills somewhat, there may be a different, over-arching set of skill which may be more important to overall success in life. These skills are the non-cognitive skills commonly grouped under the rubric of "character".

As Tough dives into the meat of his exploration, he opens with a look at the negative effects of poverty, its correlations with trauma and adverse childhood events (abuse, witnessing violence, neglect, malnutrition, etc.), and how these factors affect an individual through his life - cognitively, emotionally and even physically. He explores attachment theory and the role of attachment in soothing and undoing the effects of early adverse events. I found this chapter fascinating, as I have long felt that trauma is one of the root causes of so many societal problems. If we could only figure out how to prevent and heal trauma, the gains - educational, creative, productive, social, etc. - would be astounding. Tragically, it seems instead that we are hell-bent on increasing trauma, our increasingly violent movies, television and news media being but some examples thereof. I had hoped that Tough would explore this area more in depth.

Tough, however, swerves into a detour and begins building his argument for "character". He acknowledges that there are many different definitions of "character" and disagreements about what should or shouldn't be included. Some definitions include more religious/"moral" values such as chastity or piety, while others strive for more universal values such as honesty and integrity. But what Tough seems to mean by "character" (although he himself does not always apply the term consistently) has to do with practical values that help people succeed: the ability to work hard toward a goal and stick to it in the face of adversity and setbacks, the ability to rebound after failure, the inclination to do one's best even in the absence of obvious external rewards, the ability to delay gratification.

Tough spends a good deal of time comparing and contrasting the KIPP charter school program with an elite, expensive private school in New York: Riverdale Country School. The schools are almost polar opposites demographically. KIPP is a free, public, open-enrollment charter school which selects students by lottery. The majority of the students are poor and minority. Riverdale, by contrast, is highly selective and enrollment fees start at $38,000. The student body is exclusively rich and nearly all white.

But the two schools have very similar missions: to prepare their students for college and give them the tools for success, including "character" tools (both programs define character in the wider sense of social values as well as Tough's characteristics). The differences in demographics, however, mean that this mission is often carried out in very different ways. Riverdale kids almost universally come from homes with two college educated professional parents, and their own college/professional destiny has been part of the air they've breathed since infancy. KIPP students, by contrast, are not nearly as likely to have college educated parents and have not been prepared for college - in fact, many may be actively dissuaded from college and may have barriers in qualifying for, applying for, paying for and succeeding at college.

In Tough's view, the challenge for the Riverdale students is often "character" issues, particularly those directly relating to success, such as grit, perseverance, and resilience. They come from a secure safety net which they know will always be there. They often find getting good grades and getting along with teachers easy, so they coast in school and don't develop the skills necessary to succeed. The trick for them, Tough argues, is being allowed to fail and having to get back up on their own, but this is often inhibited by "helicopter" parents.

KIPP students, on the other hand, have dealt with adversity and failure all their lives and have had to develop grit just to survive. They may in this regard have an advantage over their Riverdale peers. If students can be taught to develop and hone such skills, just like they're taught to develop reading and math skills, they may be able to narrow or even overcome the gap created by their deprived backgrounds and comparably poor prior education.

Tough then expands these ideas by exploring other contexts and other programs, such as a chess club at a public school in New York and an after school program in Chicago which expanded to become a full in-school curriculum. Many of these programs deliberately seek out not the highest achieving or the smartest students, but rather the struggling students who still seem to have some determination. Using intensive, nearly all-encompassing catch-up methods which focus on emotional and "character" issues as well as cognitive skills, these programs attempt to bridge the gap between rich and poor students and give poor and minority students a greater chance to get into, succeed at and graduate from college.

Tough lauds these programs for their efforts and their success, and, indeed, these programs have much to brag about. College attendance and graduation rates are much higher among students with access to such programs than the general population. But I think Tough overstates the effects just a bit. Even with all this intensive effort, and even for all their grit and perseverance, the low income students still struggle more than and drop out more than their affluent counterparts, even with their apparent relative lack of grit. Tough seems to be arguing that "character" matters more than anything else, but his own data shows that no amount of diligent application can make up for the advantage bestowed by affluence and a strong safety net. Not that we shouldn't try to teach "character", but maybe we should also try to figure out how to expand that safety net.

Another criticism I would make of Tough is his ready acceptance of big names and "recognized" leaders. For instance, he hails Paul Vallas and Bill Gates as recognized educational leaders, despite the fact that neither holds an education degree, Vallas had no prior education experience before being appointed to Chicago Public Schools on the strength of his budget reform, and Gates has no education experience whatsoever. (I question Arne Duncan's inclusion as an educational leader too, but, then, he is Secretary of Education.) Actual education experts - those who have dedicated their lives to teaching and studying the effects of educational policy - have long been skeptical of charter school expansion and high-stakes testing espoused by all of the above. In fact, Tough seems to accept charter schools and standardized testing with little question of their validity and effectiveness (although he does note that standardized testing measures intelligence and cognitive skills rather than actual achievement, which correlates better with non-cognitive skills as measured by, for instance, rote coding tests which measure perseverance and diligence).

Finally, Tough stumbles into the classic "centrist" fallacy of false equivalence:

"Finally, there is the fact that the new science of adversity, in all its complexity, presents a challenge to some deeply held political beliefs on both the left and the right. To liberals, the science is saying that conservatives are correct on one very important point: character matters."

No liberals are saying that character doesn't matter. Furthermore, conservatives often define "character" along social values lines equivalent to "morality", which Tough himself rejects. What liberals are saying is that it's not that easy. You can't just throw a bunch of slogans at students and expect that they're magically going to change. All of the programs Tough details in his book are intensive, wrap-around programs which provide near-immersion experience to help students catch-up both academically and socially/non-cognitively, yet still the gap is not eliminated and still the students struggle despite their best intentions. You can't simply tell students to "man up" and force discipline into them and expect it to overcome the lifetime of trauma and adversity Tough himself details in his first chapter. Education reform is not some easy, cheap package of "character" platitudes that we can bestow on disadvantaged "failing" students. It's a matter of taking students where they're at, recognizing how they got there, and caring enough to invest the time and effort to help them move on. Yes, character is a part of that. But people succeed when they care about themselves, and they care about themselves when somebody cares about them. Attachment, as Tough himself discovered, can overcome adversity and build resilience. But if attachment isn't formed when a baby is tiny and cute and adorable, it's a lot harder to form attachment with the confused, angry teenager that that baby grows into.

Tough is on the right track that it's about a whole lot more than just cognitive skills. Plunking disadvantaged babies in front of Baby Einstein isn't going to cut it. Tough is also right that "character" skills as he defines them: grit, perseverance, resilience, etc. can help to bridge the gap left by deficits in early childhood stimulation, cognitive skill building, and general education, and that those "character" skills can be taught and learned. But I think he needs to circle back around to his first chapter and explore more deeply the connections among trauma, deprivation, attachment and "character", and how those deficits can be healed and corrected.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Very interesting and enjoyable reading. Mainly philosophical, very little how to. 13 août 2012
Par HeatherHH - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Why do some children succeed in life and others do not? Why does a bright child end up a failure as an adult while a more average student ends up a success? Paul Tough says that the answer is character. Traits like self-control, diligence, and perseverance are better predictors of success in life than IQ. In fact, those who are especially bright, may be set up for failure as they become used to everything in school coming easily to them, and are ill-prepared for the difficulties of the "real world."

I found the book absolutely fascinating, both informative and enjoyable to read. The book is full of research and example to make the author's point. It does a wonderful job demonstrating that character does matter and is as essential for a child to learn as any academic subject. This is not, however, a how-to book that goes into great detail about how to instill these traits in your children/students.

One of the groups that the author focuses on significantly is those of low socioeconomic status. He makes the case, convincingly, that the main problem that they have to overcome is the stressful circumstances of their childhood, such as violence, broken homes, etc. Most find themselves significantly impaired by the constant strain of their early environment. Yet those with close supportive relationships with their caregiver(s) and the opportunity to develop key character traits are able to rise above their circumstances.

The author also focuses on a low-income school in NYC that produces champion chess teams. Children who manage to apply themselves and become national masters are obviously bright. And yet it doesn't translate into test scores, which show them to be woefully behind their peers. I was saddened to see the national master in middle school who couldn't locate entire continents on a map or name a single European country. I felt that child was cheated by the hours a day spent on chess that could have been spent helping him to gain a basic education so that he can function in the world post-graduation. Still, the fact that someone so disadvantaged could achieve so much in one arena, shows what perseverance and diligence can reap.

Overall, this is an interesting book that makes a very good case that it is absolutely critical for children to develop character traits like curiosity, perseverance, etc. It's fascinating reading, even if I already agreed with that conclusion. Just don't expect a how-to book with 5 key steps to implement in your classroom or home.
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3.0 étoiles sur 5 what matters most? 22 août 2012
Par Lorel Shea - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
How Children Succeed - Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character is well worth reading. The author examines schools, family dynamics, and character and the way early childhood experiences can affect emotional and physical well being long after a child is grown. Various examples and studies are utilized to support the concept that children brought up in stressful environments are at high risk for repeating the mistakes of their parents. These might include drug abuse, gang banging, early sexual activity, teen pregnancy,etc. The good news is that intervention - if it is the right kind- can make a positive impact on the child. The work of Carol Dweck is mentioned, as is that of a host of educators, social reformers, and pure researchers. This book is a bit more pedantic than some psychology books for the layman. It explains how studies involving careful monitoring of rodent mothers and their offspring demonstrate that nurturing in early youth- even by a foster mother rather than a biological one- makes a dramatic difference in the resilience, curiosity, and intelligence of pups as they develop. Similar stories fill the pages and support the author's primary message- that character attributes such as perseverance (grit) can predict future success better than standardized test scores. The book has inspired me to pay more attention to the way I interact with children as a parent and educator.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Educational Book of the Millennium 17 septembre 2012
Par joseph - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
This is the most revolutionary book regarding child development I have read in my 61 years as an educator. Paul Tough skillfully and extensively explores the progressive new idea that character--qualities like persistence, self control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence--matters more in a child's growth than cognitive development.

He draws extensively on studies--like the seminal ACE study that reveals how deeply most of us are affected in our lives by our adverse childhood experiences; the famous Stanford University "marshmallow" test showing how the decisions of four year olds could predict how they would conduct their lives; the long term affect of rat parenting in handling the stress of their "pups;" the study that reveals the non-value of the G.E.D. The list goes on; with the scope wide and fascinating.

Throughout the book, Mr. Tough visits programs across the country that are addressing their students with character based programs. It is impressive how deeply he imbeds himself in these programs and in particular how extensively he describes Kewauna, one of the students in the Chicago "OneGoal" program, whom he follows from high school into college.

Paul Tough makes a very powerful case that our schools and homes need to begin to place a higher value on character than cognitive development. Thus I was disappointed that his "better path" summary seemed weakly focused on teacher quality. Character is inspired, not imparted; you don't pour it in, you draw it out. This means we need to develop a society of teachers and parents who model qualities like persistence, self-control, curiosity, grit and self-confidence. Since we were all educated in a cognitive value system, we will all need to make a personal transformation to some degree.

All in all, a truly exceptional book, whose value to us is in the league of Tom Paine's Common Sense. The fact that this educational book has been near the top of the best selling list ever since it was published is remarkable and a sign it is hitting a nerve with Americans.
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