"The conventional wisdom that has governed our thinking about education for the past couple of decades has been misguided. We have been emphasizing the wrong skills and abilities in our children and we have been using the wrong strategies to help develop those skills and abilities...the idea that the one quality that matters the most in a child's success is his or her IQ, that success is all about that narrow band of cognitive skill that gets measured on standardized tests.."
In How Children Succeed, Paul Tough argues that children success cannot be measured only by their intelligence and ability to score highest on tests. Instead, the qualities that matter most have more to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control. Scientists have come to understand that early adversity, not only affects the conditions of children’s lives, it can also alter the physical development of their brains. However, with the right support, children who grow up in the most painful circumstances can go on to achieve amazing things. Paul is also the author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America. He is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and a speaker on various topics including education, poverty, parenting, and politics.
-- Watch True Grit - Teaching character skills in the classroom