Paul Tough

discusses

How Children Succeed:
Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

in conversation with ROBERT D. PUTNAM

This event includes a book signing

Date

Sep
6
Thursday
September 6, 2012
7:00 PM

Location

Monroe C. Gutman Library
6 Appian Way, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store and the Monroe C. Gutman Library are pleased to welcome writer and speaker PAUL TOUGH for a discussion of his latest book about education, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character.

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, not only affects the conditions of children’s lives, it can also alter the physical development of their brains. But innovative thinkers around the country are now using this knowledge to help children overcome the constraints of poverty. With the right support, 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.

Paul Tough
Paul Tough

Paul Tough

Paul Tough is the author of How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. His first book, Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America, was published in 2008. Tough has written extensively about education, child development, poverty, and politics, including cover stories in the New York Times Magazine on character education, the achievement gap, and the Harlem Children’s Zone. He has worked as an editor at the New York Times Magazine and Harper’s Magazine and as a reporter and producer for the public-radio program “This American Life.” He was the founding editor of Open Letters, an online magazine. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Slate, GQ, Esquire, and Geist, and on the op-ed page of the New York Times.

Robert D. Putnam
Robert D. Putnam

Robert D. Putnam

Robert D. Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. Professor Putnam is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association. In 2006, Putnam received the Skytte Prize, one of the world's highest accolades for a political scientist. He has written fourteen books, translated into twenty languages, including the best-selling Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.

Monroe C. Gutman Library
6 Appian Way, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

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