How Children Succeed

Title: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

Author: Paul Tough

Link to


I have to admit that I expected a lot more from that book. Shane Parrish in his blog Farnam Street has made several posts  -like this one on grit versus IQ– describing the contents of the book, highly reccommending it. The stuff he quoted in the post sounded ok, so I decided to buy the book.

Unfortunately, the book is arranged in a sort of journalistic approach in which the author visits several schools that are trying different methods to teach success and develop character, and most of the pages of the book are just descriptions of conversations full of anecdotes, like a new teacher is introduced and we know about his abilities with Powerpoint, and what he was doing before joining the school, or even a page-long description of one of the interviewed professors love life.

So there is interesting stuff from time to time -I enjoyed how a professor used chess to teach children to realize their mistakes and try to avoid them next time. but it is covered by a tone of irrelevant information about how a professor is dressed, the hardships of a certain boy who grew up in the ghetto and so on.

I mean, it is not a bad book, it is well written and all that, but I was expecting some sort of detailed research on  whether/how to teach character, and not a social chronicle.


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