Paul Tough

Writer & Speaker

Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Maclean’s Article

There’s an article by Brian Bethune on “How Children Succeed” in the new issue of Maclean’s, the Canadian weekly, featuring a photo of me in a classroom of the Montauk public school.

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

Globe and Mail Article

In today’s Globe and Mail, there’s an article on the front page of the Focus section by Margaret Wente about my new book, “How Children Succeed,” including a long Q&A between me and Ms. Wente.

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Character response

Some response from around the web to my article in the New York Times Magazine on character education at KIPP and Riverdale Country School. The magazine published a few letters to the editor here. On this blog, part of the Times’s Learning Network, 536 high-school students weighed in with their comments. And on the Classroom as Microcosm blog, a writing teacher in Montreal known, pseudonymously, as Siobhan Curious writes that the article gave her some ideas about how to better instruct failure-averse students in her class:

According to Tough and some of his subjects, the key ingredient is grit, the ability to persist in the face of obstacles and even failure.

GRIT! I thought.  This is what I’ve been saying all along!  If I can face down my limitations, if I can labour to be, not perfect, but better – I will be … happy?  Is grit something we can learn?  If so, how can we teach it? …

Teaching them how to write a commentary is all very well, but what is it for?  Maybe the main thing is for is to help them practice grit: Yes, it’s hard.  Just keep going.  If you fail, fail as well as you can, and then try again.

We need to spend less time talking about literary techniques and more time talking about grit.

Curious’s blog post has so far collected 219 comments.

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

A Talk in Banff

On July 21, I’ll be appearing in something called “Literary Primetime with Paul Tough” at the Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta. It’s part of the Banff Summer Arts Festival. Tickets are now on sale.

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Alberta Magazine Publishers

This Friday, October 23, at 2 p.m., I’ll be speaking to a group of magazine publishers and editors at the Stanley Milner Public Library in Edmonton, Alberta, in a speech/Q&A organized by the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association. AMPA interviewed me about being a magazine editor for the most recent issue of their newsletter. I’ll be in Edmonton as part of the city’s International Literary Festival.

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Edmonton Literary Festival

On October 23 and 24, I’ll be one of the featured authors at the Edmonton International Literary Festival in Alberta. I’ll be reading from Whatever It Takes and taking part in a session on “the craft and discipline of writing nonfiction.”

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Maclean’s blog

On his blog at, the website of Maclean’s, the Canadian weekly, Andrew Potter reviews “Whatever It Takes”:

Tough’s book is the distillation of four years of reporting he did on the HCZ, while working for the New York Times magazine. It traces the evolution of Canada’s efforts, narrating both the wonderful successes (such as the Baby College that teaches even the most inept and unprepared parents how to properly foster their child’s cognitive development) as well as the failures — the most heartbreaking of which is the summary expulsion of an underperforming class of eighth graders from his charter school, the Promise Academy. …

Harlem is one of the most complicated, fascinating, and exasperating neighborhoods in North America. Geoffrey Canada is a remarkable man, and Paul Tough has written a small masterpiece about him and his community.

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Dispatches audio

Audio of my interview with the CBC Radio program “Dispatches” is now posted on the show’s website. Right-click here to download the podcast version (my interview starts at about 30 minutes in, after the story on the cheese bank), or click here and scroll down to listen to the interview alone. The “Dispatches” site summarizes the interview, conducted by host Rick MacInnes-Rae:

What’s the story on this Harlem Children’s Zone that’s captured the imagination of a president?

After all, for the longest time, the corner of 125th and Madison in Harlem was the intersection of poverty and failure.

But these days, for 97 blocks around, you’re in The Zone, a great big social experiment in education and hope.

More than 7,000 kids and their parents are being taught that just because they’re broke or living in public housing, it doesn’t mean they can’t succeed.

The program isn’t just trying to solve problems in education. It’s trying to bust poverty in America, according to journalist Paul Tough.

He’s the author of the new book Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest To Change Harlem And America.

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

CBC Radio

Attention Canadians: Next Monday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m., I’ll be on “Dispatches,” on CBC Radio One, talking with the host, Rick MacInnes-Rae, about Whatever It Takes and the Harlem Children’s Zone. A few days after that, audio should be posted here.

Friday, September 19th, 2008

The Agenda

To see me wearing an incredible amount of makeup and sitting in front of a fake background of New York City at night and talking about New Orleans and Harlem, just click here.