This book tries to identify why some pupils succeed while others fail. Drawing on new research on the importance of non-cognitive skills in pupils’ success, Tough applies this research to new teaching interventions aiming to help improve outcomes for pupils, especially those growing up in disadvantaged environments.
Tough traces the links between childhood stress and life success, highlighting the role of parents in shaping pupils’ expectations of adulthood, and the influence this has on their ‘non-cognitive’ skills, or character. Education systems often fail certain students because they tend to focus on more easily measurable cognitive skills, which benefits pupils from advantaged backgrounds.
With the right support, Tough argues, children who grow up in the most painful circumstances can go on to achieve amazing things, but conventional thinking around the role of education needs to change for this to happen.
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