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How Children Succeed

Written by Paul Tough

Anna McClure

on 16 December 2013

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Transcript of How Children Succeed

Chapter 3
How to Think
Chapter 2
How to Build Character
Character, in this chapter, is defined as a set of abilities or strengths that are adaptable. This is important to application in the classroom and the main idea of the book.
Chapter 4
How to Succeed
Overview: The US has fallen from 1st to 12th in the number of college graduates. A study found that ACT & SAT scores are not a good indicator of how well a student will do in college, GPA is more accurate in predicting success.

OneGoal is a program in Chicago that has experienced success in helping disadvantaged teenagers by pairing them with a teacher who helps to make them "Highly Effective People".
Chapter 5
A Better Path
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough considers several aspects of personality and how they relate to academic success for underprivileged students. Through extensive research, Tough relates how early childhood stress and relationships, character traits, thought processes, intensive academic support, and overall changes in government programs and cultural outlook can greatly impact a student’s chance of success. Many well-known institutions and respected researchers contributed to this text and their results put forth a compelling argument for Tough’s assertions about the relationship between certain non-cognitive skills and future success. Through five chapters – How to Fail (And How Not To), How to Build Character, How to Think, How to Succeed, and A Better Path – Tough compiles relative research, insights, and real life stories to help illustrate how students living in poverty can be given the tools to overcome adversity and attain personal success.

While the ideas presented in this book are very thought provoking and the research comes from top-notch sources, there is very little in the way of actual application. This limits the text’s benefit to educators looking for ready to use theories to improve student success. The writing, however, is well crafted and accessible to all parents and educators seeking an in depth look at the effects of certain elements of poverty on children. Another detractor is the limited scope of the book. The institutions and students Tough focuses on in this text are found in the rougher areas of Chicago and New York making this text less applicable to parents and educators working outside of similar areas.

Overall, How Children Succeed offers up great information for reflection and further research, but does not quite answer the assertions set out in its title.

Select areas you would like to focus on
Discuss these areas with students
Display areas - with definitions - in a prominent place
Test students with various evaluation tools
Make character part of the classroom culture
Recommended reading: Character Strengths and Virtues: a Handbook on Classification by Martin Seligman.
The traits measured by character evaluation tool: grit, self-control, zest, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism, and curiosity.
Through various programs, students are taught to see character traits as important tools for achieving success. The chapter also points out that including character into curriculum and discussion improved discipline, metacognition, and self-regulation. These all lead to individual success.
Written by Paul Tough
Group Members:Matthew Hatch, Anna McClure, Kathryn McHenry, and Arielle Windham
Chapter 1
How To Fail (And How Not To)
This chapter begins to explain how children from different backgrounds are affected by the stresses and situations surrounding their development. It takes a look at several studies including the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Study, the Firehouse Effect, and parenting interventions. It also looks at several different people, how they were raised and what type of environments they were raised in.
Classroom Application
Being able to understand what is happening in the community around the school you are in and how those situations and circumstances effect your students growth and learning is an important part of teaching. This chapter gives great examples of children who grew up in poverty, and difficult situations and how they effected their growth and development and their learning processes through schooling. It is a great chapter that gives valuable information, from studies, and helps you to think about the children in your classrooms.
As the last chapter in this book, it starts by comparing everything the book had talked about to the decision of the author to drop out of college. As it seems, it goes against most of everything that the book discusses. Looking further, it begins to describe how high LG parenting is good for children by protecting them from serious trauma, chronic stress and provide the with a secure place, and a nurturing relationship. It also discusses how knowing that some failures cannot be avoided but by guiding students through those failures and helping them to learn through them is an important part of building character. Overall, this chapter brings it all together with the focus of every idea and concept and how helping students in the end builds their character and helps them to succeed.
Teaching your students:
To Critically Think
Cognitive flexibility - seeing an alternate solution
Cognitive self control - overcoming instinctive or habitual responses and substituting it with a more effective choice
When “lost in moments of stress and emotional turmoil” to slow down
Believing in their own abilities
Building confidence

This chapter shares a story of a Title I intermediate school 's chess team that swept the middle school national championships.They did not win in just one grade; they won in every grade the school was allowed to enter.
“Teaching Chess is really about teaching the habits that go along with thinking. Like how to understand your mistakes and how to be more aware of your thought process.”
When a student completed a game they would come to their teacher, Elizabeth Spiegel, and they would go over the game one play at a time. She asks questions to determine what was going through their minds, asking if there was a better move that they could have made, and complimenting them on their clever moves.
“There are no natural-born chess champions…you simply cannot become a grand master without dedicating thousands of hours to play and study.”
Chapter 3
How to Think
Full transcript