SOCIAL SCIENCES

Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why

Houghton Harcourt. May 2016. 144p. ISBN 9780544935280. $18.99; ebk. ISBN 9780544935310. ED
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Tough (contributing writer, New York Times Magazine) builds on the research he outlined in his book How Children Succeed to address at great depth the ways adults can build success for children who face the greatest adversity. Contending that it is the environment that shapes children's ability to develop significant noncognitive skills such as perseverance and optimism, Tough presents research that shows success in these areas is possible for all children. Diving into studies and supporting their conclusions by defining real-life examples, Tough convincingly argues that classroom climate is what needs changed in order to shape students' experiences. While advocating for transformation to a broken system that could turn disadvantaged kids' lives around, the author also acknowledges the small things that make a difference. Tough calls upon individuals to make those small steps and shows that by looking through a different lens it is possible to see how education can be better structured for the future.
VERDICT For readers concerned with finding practical ways to engage with and improve education for those children with the most to lose.

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