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Paul Tough in conversation with Denise Pope


How College Makes or Breaks Us

Does college work? Does it provide real opportunity for young people who want to improve themselves and their prospects? Or is it simply a rigged game designed to protect elites with power and wealth and exclude everyone else?  For many of us, our doubts and resentments about higher education live side by side with an appreciation, even a yearning, for the life-changing personal transformation that a college education can provide. Paul Tough’s new groundbreaking book, The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us will shake you up, inspire and enrage you, and make you think differently about who we are as a country – and whether the American dream of opportunity and mobility is still a worthy one.

Paul Tough is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, where he has written extensively about education, parenting, poverty, and politics. His writing has also appeared in the New YorkerThe Atlantic, and GQ and on the op-ed page of the New York Times. He has worked as an editor at The New York Times Magazine and Harper’s Magazine and as a reporter and producer for the public-radio program “This American Life.”  In addition to The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us, Tough is the author of Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why. His previous book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, was translated into 27 languages and spent more than a year on the New York Times hardcover and paperback best-seller lists. His first book, Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America, was published in 2008. Tough lives with his wife and two sons in Montauk, New York.

Denise Pope, PhD is a Senior Lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education and the founder of Challenge Success. She is the co-author of Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids and Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students. Pope lectures nationally on parenting techniques and pedagogical strategies to increase student health, integrity and engagement.

Denise head shot 2019 red - Denise Pope.
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