Mental Penguins

Mental Penguins

The Neverending Education Crisis and the False Promise of the Information Аge

A sobering look at the ongoing crisis in civic learning and the fatal attraction of information technology.


Professor Ivelin Sardamov draws on key findings in neuroscience to explain the waning interest in and knowledge of complex social issues in the United States and around the world. Attributing this trend primarily to the effects of information overload, ubiquitous screens and constant access to the internet, Sardamov argues that chronic over-stimulation generated by the current sociotechnological environment fosters addictive tendencies in today's young people.


As an educator and working with students in this digital age, I found Mental Penguins to be a fascinating, provoking and well-researched novel. Although I wasn't entirely convinced by the conclusions Sardamov comes to, I was intrigued by his findings and tales of his students. It provoked me to think about my own stance on social media and technology and how I address it with my own students. I believe we both have a long way to tackle this particularly subject but I am sure we will do it in very different ways! ~ Morgan Melhuish, NetGalley/Educator at Baku Oxford School, Azerbaijan

I literally could not put this book down. Prof. Sardamov makes a passionate, meticulously-researched and utterly compelling case for reinstating reading (yes: old-fashioned text-based reading) at the heart of formal education. No UK or US academic at the moment would dare to write this book - but, boy, do we need it! Buy it, read it and send a copy to your favourite politician. ~ Sue Palmer, Literacy specialist, author of Toxic Childhood and Upstart

Prof. Sardamov sounds the alarm about the unrelenting, pervasive stimulation facilitated by our enchantment with information technology. He makes a compelling case for reclaiming the less thrilling yet essential gratifications of reading, one child at a time. ~ Dr. Philip Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University, and Founder of The Heroic Imagination Project

An impassioned plea for the need to avoid gimmickry in education and to recapture the patient reading and learning that gives depth and breadth to developing minds. Those who have their own reasons not to hear its important message will easily dismiss this very personal book, but they would be unwise to do so. ~ Dr. Iain McGilchrist, psychiatrist, author of The Master and His Emissary

Prof. Sardamov has accomplished a fabulous integration of the personal narrative and academic form, with a readable, understandable call to alarm for anybody willing to listen. His own experience is compelling, and his review of many aspects of neuroscience, psychology and even philosophy lend tremendous theoretical support to his argument. ~ Dr. Stephanie Brown, clinical psychologist, author of SPEED

Ivelin Sardamov
Ivelin Sardamov Ivelin Sardamov is Associate Professor of Political Science at the American University in Bulgaria. He received his Ph.D. in political scien...

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