On Tuesday, July 16, the 2013 Early Childhood Summit welcomed New York Times best-selling author Paul Tough as our keynote speaker. Tough is the author of “How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character” and “Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America.”
During our lunch keynote, all Summit participants gathered to hear Tough speak on “The Hidden Power of Character.”
Our society strongly emphasizes intelligence as the sole indicator of value in children’s education. In this talk, Tough lays it bare: We believe that success comes from those who score highest on tests, from preschool to SATs.
Yet evidence indicates that our story might be dead wrong.
The work of a new generation of researchers and educators points to the fact that the qualities that have a better shot at indicating lifelong success are “noncognitive” or what we might refer to as “personality traits,” such as curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, self-control and grit.
- The importance of “noncognitive skills” to education success and the need for stronger efforts that promote these skills in children.
- How are noncognitive skills currently addressed in Tennessee education programs or through professional development opportunities?
- What are the implications of this research for our work as leaders in early learning and/or education reform?