Author Paul Tough Challenges The Way We Measure Success In Children

May 15, 2015

This interview was broadcast first in January of 2013.

A child who heads off to kindergarten without knowing his colors or shapes may be considered academically unprepared for school.  But what if those measures mattered less, and the child's character mattered more?

In his book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, Paul Tough contends that it's not about how much information we can pack into a child's brain in the first few years, or about test scores.  He says the qualities that matter most when it comes to success in life are character traits like determination, curiosity, conscientiousness and optimism.

How Children Succeed has been translated into 25 languages and it spent more than a year on the New York Times' hardback and paperback bestseller lists.  Mr. Tough has worked as a writer and editor for many publications and as a contributor to This American Life.