It’s Not IQ: It’s Grit, Curiousity, and Character

This looks like a very interesting new book. Sean Blanda sets up an interview with author Paul Tough:

From 1962 to 1967 researchers selected students with low-income and low-I.Q. parents at the Perry Preschool in Ypsilanti, Michigan and divided them into two groups. One group received a special high-quality education, while the control group used the school’s normal curriculum.

The students that received the high-quality education showed short-term gains in I.Q. but by the third grade, they were again even with the control group. The experiment was seen as failure – until the researchers followed back up with the students later in their lives. The students that received the high-quality education were more likely to graduate high school, more likely to be employed at age 27, and more likely have a salary over $40,000 at age 40. If the gains in I.Q. didn’t stick, then what happened to make the students more successful?

The path to success that has been preached for decades, get good grades, ace the S.A.T., and then get into a good college, is being turned on its head. In his book How Children Succeed, Paul Tough leans on a new generation of educators and researchers to argue that our success as adults is better measured by certain character traits than by our G.P.A. as children.  While the gains made by the Perry students in I.Q. eventually petered out, as a side effect they picked up characteristics like determination and motivation that led to their success later in life.

Tough reasons that “non-cognitive” traits like optimism, zest, gratitude, and grit make children (and adults) more likely to succeed.”

Read the rest of the interview.

HT: Matt Perman

Trackbacks/Pingbacks:

  1. Grit: What Athletics Have to Do With Academic Success | A Brick in the Valley - June 27, 2013

    […] Similarly, in his book, How Children Succeed, Paul Tough contends that “non-cognitive” traits like optimism, zest, gratitude, and grit make children (and adults) more likely to succeed.” (HT: Alex Chediak) […]

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