Paul Tough Quotes

/ Author List / Paul Tough

1. “In their writing on education, Deci and Ryan proceed from the principle that humans are natural learners and children are born creative and curious, “intrinsically motivated for the types of behaviors that foster learning and development.” This idea is complicated, however, by the fact that part of learning anything, be it painting or programming or eighth-grade algebra, involves a lot of repetitive practice, and repetitive practice is usually pretty boring. Deci and Ryan acknowledge that many of the tasks that teachers ask students to complete each day are not inherently fun or satisfying; it is the rare student who feels a deep sense of intrinsic motivation when memorizing her multiplication tables.It is at these moments that extrinsic motivation becomes important: when behaviors must be performed not for the inherent satisfaction of completing them, but for some separate outcome. Deci and Ryan say that when students can be encouraged to internalize those extrinsic motivations, the motivations become increasingly powerful. This is where the psychologists return to their three basic human needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. When teachers are able to create an environment that promotes those three feelings, they say, students exhibit much higher levels of motivation.And how does a teacher create that kind of environment? Students experience autonomy in the classroom, Deci and Ryan explain, when their teachers “maximize a sense of choice and volitional engagement” while minimizing students’ feelings of coercion and control. Students feel competent, they say, when their teachers give them tasks that they can succeed at but that aren’t too easy — challenges just a bit beyond their current abilities. And they feel a sense of relatedness when they perceive that their teachers like and value and respect them.”

Tags : Autonomy Classroom Competence Deci Intrinsic Motivation Relatedness
Author : Paul Tough
Source : Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why

2. “What matters most in a child's development, they say, is not how much information we can stuff into her brain in the first few years. What matters, instead, is whether we are able to help her develop a very different set of qualities, a list that includes persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence.”

Tags : Education Teaching Children
Author : Paul Tough
Source : How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

3. “The part of the brain most affected by early stress is the prefrontal cortex, which is critical in self-regulatory activities of all kinds, both emotional and cognitive. As a result, children who grow up in stressful environments generally find it harder to concentrate, harder to sit still, harder to rebound from disappointments, and harder to follow directions. And that has a direct effect on their performance in school.”

Tags : Brain Children Science
Author : Paul Tough
Source : How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

4. “According to the Turnaround paper, which was written by a consultant named Brooke Stafford-Brizard, high-level noncognitive skills like resilience, curiosity, and academic tenacity are very difficult for a child to obtain without first developing a foundation of executive functions, a capacity for 
self-awareness, and relationship skills. And those skills, in turn, stand atop an infrastructure of qualities built in the first years of life, qualities like secure attachment, the ability to manage stress, and self-regulation.”

Tags : Curiosity Tenacity Executive Function Resilience
Author : Paul Tough
Source : Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why