Author bio

Paul Tough

Paul Tough - book author

Paul Tough is the author, most recently, of Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why. His previous book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, was been translated into 27 languages and spent more than a year on the New York Times hardcover and paperback best-seller lists. His first book, Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America, was published in 2008. He is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, where he has written cover stories on character education, the achievement gap, and the Obama administration's poverty policies. 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 Atlantic, Esquire, GQ, and the New Yorker, and on the op-ed page of the New York Times. He lives with his wife and two sons in Montauk, New York. For more information, please visit his web site or follow him on Twitter.

Paul Tough is the author of books: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America, Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why, What It Takes to Make a Student, Über Bord (DuMont True Tales ): Ein Überlebenskampf auf offenem Meer, The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us, Educar para o futuro, Como ajudar as crianças a aprenderem, Comment les enfants réussissent, Who Needs College?

Author books

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 for a very different understanding of what makes a successful child. Drawing on groundbreaking research in neuroscience, economics, and psychology, Tough shows that the qualities that matter most have less to do with IQ and more to do with character: skills like grit, curiosity, conscientiousness, and optimism.

"How Children Succeed" introduces us to a new generation of scientists and educators who are radically changing our understanding of how children develop character, how they learn to think, and how they overcome adversity. It tells the personal stories of young people struggling to stay on the right side of the line between success and failure. And it argues for a new way of thinking about how best to steer an individual child – or a whole generation of children – toward a successful future.

This provocative and profoundly hopeful book will not only inspire and engage readers; it will also change our understanding of childhood itself.
What would it take?

That was the question that Geoffrey Canada found himself asking. What would it take to change the lives of poor children—not one by one, through heroic interventions and occasional miracles, but in big numbers, and in a way that could be replicated nationwide? The question led him to create the Harlem Children’s Zone, a ninety-seven-block laboratory in central Harlem where he is testing new and sometimes controversial ideas about poverty in America. His conclusion: if you want poor kids to be able to compete with their middle-class peers, you need to change everything in their lives—their schools, their neighborhoods, even the child-rearing practices of their parents.

Whatever It Takes is a tour de force of reporting, an inspired portrait not only of Geoffrey Canada but of the parents and children in Harlem who are struggling to better their lives, often against great odds. Carefully researched and deeply affecting, this is a dispatch from inside the most daring and potentially transformative social experiment of our time.
In How Children Succeed, Paul Tough introduced us to research showing that personal qualities like perseverance, self-control, and conscientiousness play a critical role in children’s success.
Now, in Helping Children Succeed, Tough takes on a new set of pressing questions: What does growing up in poverty do to children’s mental and physical development? How does adversity at home affect their success in the classroom, from preschool to high school? And what practical steps can the adults who are responsible for them—from parents and teachers to policy makers and philanthropists—take to improve their chances for a positive future?
Tough once again encourages us to think in a brand new way about the challenges of childhood. Rather than trying to “teach” skills like grit and self-control, he argues, we should focus instead on creating the kinds of environments, both at home and at school, in which those qualities are most likely to flourish. Mining the latest research in psychology and neuroscience, Tough provides us with insights and strategies for a new approach to childhood adversity, one designed to help many more children succeed.
The best-selling author of How Children Succeed returns with a devastatingly powerful, mind-changing inquiry into higher education in the United States
Does college work? Does it provide real opportunity for young people who want to improve themselves and their prospects? Or is it simply a rigged game designed to protect the elites who have power and exclude everyone else?  For many of us, our doubts and resentments about higher education live side by side with an appreciation, even a yearning, for the life-changing personal transformation that a college education can provide. 
In these pages, you will meet young people making their way through this system, with joy and frustration and sorrow: deciding how and where to apply, cramming for the SAT, braving a strange new campus, negotiating changing family relationships, and trying to find the resilience to recover from setbacks and downturns.
You’ll encounter the individuals who, behind the scenes, make higher education go: from an SAT tutor hacking the test and his students’ stressed-out brains to a calculus professor turning potential drop-outs into math majors. And you’ll see the many shapes that college in America takes today, from Ivy League seminar rooms to community college welding shops; from giant public flagships to tiny, innovative experiments in urban storefronts.
The Years That Matter Most will shake you up, it will inspire and enrage you, and it will make you think differently about who we are as a country – and whether the American dream of opportunity and mobility is still worthy of our faith.
Por que razão algumas crianças têm sucesso enquanto outras não?
Foi este o ponto de partida do autor que logo se lançou numa série de estudos inovadores e cujas conclusões vão mudar a nossa compreensão da infância. Educar para o Futuro é uma obra original e com uma mensagem muito importante: o carácter das crianças - e não as competências cognitivas - é o fator decisivo para o seu futuro. E mais, este pode ser ensinado e moldado.

O livro em breves tópicos:
- A pobreza pode condicionar o desenvolvimento do cérebro das crianças;
- O stresse sofrido durante a infância está diretamente relacionado com o sucesso ao longo da vida;
- A perseverança, a curiosidade e o otimismo são fatores mais cruciais do que a inteligência;
- Há uma nova forma de educar tendo em vista a realização pessoal e o bem-estar físico e psicológico dos nossos filhos.
Universities are, theoretically, for anyone who possesses the necessary talent and drive. But in recent years, parental wealth has become an ever-greater factor in determining who will go where and how successful their subsequent life will be. Today, the top universities, which have a huge positive impact on the future earnings of their graduates, are largely populated by the children of affluent families. They are virtually closed to children from low-income homes. And the universities that less affluent students end up going to invariably offer lower-quality (though often not lower-cost) education. In other words, a further education system that in the decades after the Second World War was intended to spread its benefits to all is now reinforcing the gulf between the haves and the have-nots. In Who Needs College? Paul Tough takes the lid off the American university system, explains why it is failing so many people so badly, and suggests what can be done about it. His conclusions offer stark lessons for the education of young people around the world.