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How Children Succeed

How Children Succeed

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Published by Chris Stewart

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Published by: Chris Stewart on Nov 28, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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How Children Succeed
Author: Paul ToughBook notes by Dr. Ann Fields
The first 147 pages of Paul Tough’s book
 (2012) is filled with background,research, and stories
about poverty and education. Tough’s premise is that education is the onevariable that can change a person’s life, but how can we help a student succeed in college?
Chapter 4, “How to Succeed” discusses the problems and opportunities facing higher educati
on.According to Tough,"[T]he United States does not so much have a problem of limited and unequal college
; it
has a problem of limited and unequal college completion… Not long ago, the United States led
the world in producing college graduates; now it leads the world in producing collegedropouts." (p. 150)Admittance to higher education, especially through community colleges, makes collegeaccessible to almost all students. However, Tough examines what variables positively affectcollege completion. The previously held assumption was that IQ is fixed; therefore, students
either will succeed because they have the brain power or they won’t because they don’t have
the brain power. However, high school students given extra help can increase their IQ. Somestudents with higher IQs never finish college; some students with lower IQs finish college.
Melissa Rockerick (as quoted by Tough, p. 161) “identified as a critical component of collegesuccess ‘noncognitive academic skills,’ including study skills, wo
rk habits, time management,help-seeking behavior, and social/academic problem-
solving skills.” High schools generallydon’t teach noncognitive skills, as they are busy teaching to the test and improving cognitive
ability.Jeff Nelson, CEO of OneGoal, a Chicago-based program for lower economic students to preparethem for college, identified the noncognitive academic skills as the leadership skills of 
“resourcefulness, resilience, ambition, professionalism, and integrity” (p. 162). By teaching
these skills, along with the academic cognitive skills, OneGoal increased the completion rate of their students who entered college.Another of my favorite authors, Carol Dweck, a Stanford psychologist, focuses on the fact thatthese students need to know that they can succeed in improving their cognitive abilities(increasing their SAT or ACT scores) and they can change their noncognitive behaviors, fromnegative behaviors to growth-minded behaviors (Tough, p. 165). The resiliency, ambition, and

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