Location: Bowdoin / Coastal Studies Center / Symposia & Events / The New Politics of Parenthood / Paul Tough Lecture

Coastal Studies Center

Lecture by Paul Tough, author of Whatever it Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America

How Children Succeed: Schools, Parents, and the Cultivation of Character
Friday, April 6 12:30-2:00 pm
Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center

What if, for decades, we've emphasized the wrong skills and used the wrong strategies to move children toward success in school and in life? Sure, intelligence matters, Paul Tough writes, but it is just one part of the success equation. 

In his latest book Tough introduces readers to the psychologists, neuroscientists, and economists who are solving the mysteries of character, exploring traits like perseverance, optimism, grit, curiosity, and conscientiousness.  How do these traits develop? And why they are such powerful predictors of success?

Through the engrossing, inspiring stories of children, parents, teachers, and mentors, Tough investigates questions at the heart of the success equation:  How do you turn a D student into a national chess champion? How are affluent parents preventing their children from developing grit? What simple message helps girls improve their math scores by 10 percentage points? And why does the U.S. produce more college dropouts than any other country?

Paul Tough is the author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America. He 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. His new book, How Children Succeed: Rethinking Character and Intelligence will be published in September 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 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.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the McKeen Center for the Common Good, the departments of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Education, and the Coastal Studies Center with funding from the Charles Weston Pickard Lecture Fund. This lecture is free and open to the public.