Tuesday, August 14 , 2018, 2:39 am | Overcast 67º


Author Paul Tough Speaks at Marymount on ‘How Children Succeed’

Paul Tough, whose book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character is in its ninth week on the New York Times Bestseller List, has struck a chord with educators and parents across the country. This fact was evident by the full house attendance at Marymount of Santa Barbara’s recent event that allowed the community to interact with Tough, ask questions and understand more about his groundbreaking research in education.

Interviewed by Marymount Head of School Andrew Wooden, Tough shared findings that provide evidence that a child’s success has less to do with intelligence and test scores than with character.

Marymount is a leader in Santa Barbara’s independent schools in its commitment to the development of student character alongside strong academic and critical 21st century skills. Marymount brought Tough to meet educators and community members as a part of the school’s commitment to share best practices in education. Tough’s talk equipped educators and parents with research, information and practical tools to help children develop skills such as perseverance, curiosity, resilience, optimism and self-control — skills Tough claims are critical to a child’s ultimate success.

The audience participated in Marymount’s insightful discussion with Tough and was able to ask questions such as, “How should I model my own failures for my child?” and “How can I help my child develop a growth mindset?” Many in the audience were surprised to learn that labeling a child as “gifted” as opposed to rewarding the work that goes into becoming gifted can unintentionally promote a “set” mindset.

The skill of perseverance was discussed at length. Tough shared his view that perseverance cannot be developed unless a child has the opportunity to struggle, something that makes many parents uncomfortable. Many of today’s parents try to shield their children from failure and struggle. In the end and despite good intentions, these efforts to protect children may sabotage the exact outcomes parents are trying to ensure. Differences between character development in a young child and an early teen were discussed.

It was recently announced that Tough is to be the featured speaker at the California Association of Independent Schools conference this February in Los Angeles. Past keynote speakers include education luminaries Salman Khan, founder of Kahn Academy, Will Richardson, expert on innovative 21st century education, and Dr. Mark David Milliron, leadership development expert.

Marymount administration feels strongly that Tough’s message is vital to addressing the important needs of both academic and personal skill development in children. His selection as California Association of Independent Schools’ keynote speaker indicates the validity and broad importance of his message for educators, parents and all those interested in helping children achieve success.

Marymount is an independent, coeducational school, junior kindergarten through eighth grade, on a picturesque 10-acre campus nestled on the Santa Barbara Riviera. Building on a 75-year tradition of excellence, the educators at Marymount have crafted a unique learning experience that blends mastery of core subjects with acquisition of the essential skills students need to navigate and be successful in a rapidly evolving world. Click here for more information.

— Molly Seguel is the admissions director for Marymount of Santa Barbara.

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