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A book talk facilitated by Susan Slate Hayes Barkley Bridge Elementary School Hartselle, Alabama 35640.

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Presentation on theme: "A book talk facilitated by Susan Slate Hayes Barkley Bridge Elementary School Hartselle, Alabama 35640."— Presentation transcript:

1 A book talk facilitated by Susan Slate Hayes Barkley Bridge Elementary School Hartselle, Alabama 35640

2 Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

3 by Paul Tough  What Questions Does the Book Pose and Seek to Answer?  1. Do cognitive qualities, such as IQ, insure success?  2. If not, what noncognitive qualities does a successful person need?  3. What is “successful”?  4. Is it possible to “teach” these qualities to students… even older students… who do not already possess them? How?  Spoiler Alert: The “answers” are fraught with “questions.” This is not a how-to book. It’s a book of tremendous observation.  What do I hope to gain with this presentation? I want you to read this book. Once we get through the Common Core chaos and establish the rigor that will guarantee success for all… we will be having this conversation.

4 The real point of this presentation is to focus on the book. There is nothing shared in this powerpoint that is not found in the book. And, of course, the book provides you with real explanations. The book is the star!   Choose Barkley Bridge Elementary School  Go to the Library page  Click on Presentations

5  Tough examines specific experiments in human nature and the “piggy back” experiments that follow. He uses science… such as The Marshmallow Test for studying delayed gratification… and builds from there.  Simultaneously, he presents different school and organizational approaches to identifying and solving the “life success” problems of students at risk of failure…  And he also profiles particular individuals and their stories of success and failure.

6  Tough examines many groups and subgroups.  He examines a variety of professions and their research based on client intake data.  He calls on several longitudinal studies.  He examines data on both sides of any point he is seeking to make.  Actually, all of this contributes to my earlier statement that he raises as many questions as answers. He gives the reader much to consider, and he presents it in a way that feels more like an easy-reader than a research tome.

7  An ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) score.  In an oversimplified explanation, this measures personal histories in ten categories including physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect and various measures of household dysfunction including having mentally ill/incarcerated family.  Data collected from many people over many years.  DIRECT correlation between adult health/ happiness risk and adverse childhood experiences.  Lower score = More general “life happiness”.  But school success is also talked about, because it is more quickly and easily measured.

8  Parents make a tremendous difference, but since we’re a room full of educators, I will mention only one…  High LG Parenting = YES  Rat pups, when handled, stressed. Some rat mommies licked and groomed them when stressed. This soothing taught them to manage their stress. As adults, they confidently explored.  There were no Helicopter Soccer Rat Moms who swooped in and saved them from the stress, the High LG moms taught them that they could rebound when stressed or frightened. HUGE!!!

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10  Fenger High School in Urban Chicago:( Note: Current Secretary of Education Arne Duncan cut his teeth on turnaround initiatives at this school. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation money... more than 80 million dollars spent.)  The Profile: Grim poverty, few… if any… two-biological- parent households, a quarter of the female students are pregnant or are already teen moms, daily neighborhood violence is common, between half and two-thirds of each incoming freshman class drops out before the end of senior year, in 2011 the school was placed on probation for the sixteenth year in a row, principal was replaced, most all teachers were replaced, very firm rules were set for the day- to-day of the high school.  The new principal soon began to fear that “the most important tools at [her] disposal were ones that didn’t have much to do with classroom instruction… a deeper set of problems, born out of students’ troubled and often traumatic home lives, that made it difficult for them to get through each day.”

11  From pediatrician Burke Harris regarding children who grow up in high-poverty and high-crime neighborhoods and whose lives are filled with adversity: “They were still surrounded by violence and chaos, at home and in the streets, that was clearly taking a grave toll on then, both physically and emotionally. Many… seemed depressed or anxious… [or] downright traumatized, and the stress of their daily lives expressed itself in a variety of symptoms, from panic attacks to eating disorders to suicidal behavior. [And I]patch them up and send them back to war.”

12  Suniya Luthar’s profile of 200+ affluent tenth-graders: 35% of girls had tried alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and harder illegal drugs; 22% suffered from clinical depression. Among middle-schoolers, all of that plus chronic academic difficulties and “excessive achievement pressures and isolation from parents– both physical and emotional.”  Harvard’s Dan Kindlon concurs. As does Madeline Levine.  Want more info? See Race to Nowhere…

13  From private school Riverdale’s Headmaster, where the tuition starts at $38,500 a year: “People who have an easy time of things, who get eight hundreds on their SATs, …get feedback that everything they’re doing is great. And I think as a result, we are actually setting them up for long-term failure. When that person suddenly has to face up to a difficult moment, … they’re screwed. [They haven’t] grown the capacities to be able to handle that.”

14  “A set of abilities or strengths that are very much changeable– entirely malleable, in fact. They are skills you can learn; they are skills you can practice; and they are skills you can teach.”  “[They have a] practical benefit… you [can] actually gain by possessing and expressing them. Cultivating these strengths [represents] a reliable path to… a life that was not just happy but meaningful and fulfilling.”  Perhaps we need to consider programs that focus “not on finger-wagging morality but on personal growth and achievement.”

15 Moral Character--- Honesty Fairness Generosity Performance Character--- Effort Diligence Perseverance

16  Following 164 eighth grade students at Masterman Middle School in downtown Philadelphia and then administering numerous tests to those students, Angela Duckworth found that “…the students’ self-discipline scores… were better indicators of their final GPAs than their IQ scores.”  Walter Mischel’s Marshmallow Test work with preschoolers concurs. The ability to delay immediate gratification for something bigger and better is an indicator of success.  Something interesting: The children most successful at delaying gratification in The Marshmallow Test were those who did not have the marshmallow directly in front of them. And, they were able to distract themselves in the short term to hold out for the long term reward. But it seems that it’s very difficult for a child to wait on a “marshmallow” he’s never seen before.

17  Angela Duckworth asserts that a successful person has both. If you want something badly enough, you can learn to wait for it. But what if you don’t want it? Motivation?  Calvin Edlund’s IQ and M&Ms test: He administered an IQ test to 79 children. Seven weeks later about half of them took a similar test but were given an M&M for each correct answer. Their scores went up an average of 12 points.  In a University of South Florida follow-up experiment with students divided into high, medium, and low groups based on the first IQ test they were given. Half the students in each IQ group were offered an M&M for each correct answer. The candy made no difference in the high and medium groups, but the candy-getting low IQ students by more than 15 points. The point spread essentially closed the gap between the middle and low groups.  So which score was real? Odds are, the higher one.

18  There is just as much evidence to suggest that immediate, material incentives have little to no effect on motivation. (See Harvard’s Roland Fryer’s incentive program results.)  In fact, though not immediate, there are definite rewards for students who find their way out of poverty.

19  Conscientiousness-- That plain, old-fashioned quality that prompts you to do the right thing even when there is no incentive for doing it.  “[Conscientiousness] predicts so many outcomes that go far beyond the workplace. People high in conscientiousness get better grades in high school and college; they commit fewer crimes; and they stay married longer. They live longer…, they have fewer strokes, lower blood pressure, and a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease…. It really goes cradle to grave in terms of how well people do.”

20 Grit Curiosity Optimism Agreeableness Openness to Experience

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22  Site: The Answer Sheet Washington Post blogger Strauss has a Q and A with author Tough  Site: Amazon.com There is a Q and A on the Editorial Review of this book on the Amazon site that sells it.  If you have an online subscription to School Leadership Briefing, you can listen to an audio interview with the author about his intriguing and well- received new book.  Happy Grappling!

23 The real point of this presentation is to focus on the book. There is nothing shared in this powerpoint that is not found in the book. And, of course, the book provides you with real explanations. The book is the star!   Choose Barkley Bridge Elementary School  Go to the Library page  Click on Presentations


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