On Paul Tough and The Four Words I Can't Stand In My Classroom [Edutopia] - The Jose Vilson

On Paul Tough and The Four Words I Can’t Stand In My Classroom [Edutopia]

October 24, 2013

paultough

Paul Tough

My latest Edutopia article explores the four words I can’t stand to hear from my students (with an analysis of the lies we tell in schools):

The discussion around “I can’t do this” can be broken down into three general levels:

  • They genuinely don’t understand the material.
  • They’ve had a long day and just don’t have the energy to work any more.
  • They have a situation at home that currently distracts them.

There are levels to “I can’t do this” that don’t get discussed, either. The current discussion around lack of effort focuses on “grit,” the cure for lack of effort — and with good reason. Paul Tough’s book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and The Hidden Power of Character gives you a sense that he believes, with the right level of effort and conditions that help translate effort into success, any child can overcome his or her disposition.

Read more here. Share and comment if it moves you. Thanks!

Mr. Vilson

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This post was written by...

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

For more about me, read here.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jim Doherty October 25, 2013 at 9:49 am

The key piece to me is the questioning piece. I think that I always hope that my actions will serve as a model for my students, but I realize more and more that I need to explicitly point out the behavior that I want the students to see. I need to be clear when I am questioning in a way that they can use themselves. I am good at this in one-on-one conferences, I need to be better when I am talking to a group of students.

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