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.


This important study explores the social and educational consequences of digital immersion for modified brain structure and intellectual capacity.Essential reading for education departments around the world and anyone concerned with the future of education and the development of our children. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

The two things that I loved about this book are the logical progression of the topics and concepts and the writing. The science is not dumbed down but at the same time it is made accessible to strangers to the field of neuroscience. Ivelin Sardamov has put in a phenomenal amount of research. This is evident on reading through it. He has gone into the details of neuroscience and has explained the cause and effect of each of the contributing factors to this crisis. It boils down to this – we have reached a stage in human development, where our brains are no longer able to keep up with the sensory input bombarding them. This has caused a lot of changes in the way we learn and our mental outlook.... ~ Kartik Narayanan, Digital Amrit

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 found 'Mental Penguins' to be a fascinating and at times frightening read as I identified with his points about how distracted my own age group has become, mainly by the number of times I was distracted while reading! The book feels thoroughly researched and tackles some difficult concepts of neuroscience that are clearly outwith the authors own field of study, but still feels relatable and understandable. I enjoyed his frequent example sections which broke off from the main narrative to further expand upon a point he was making, I found them very helpful. I feel I have learned a lot of new ideas from this book which I can investigate and research further to draw my own conclusions. This is a thought provoking read and is a good starting point for anyone interested in the relationship between education and technology. ~ Sarah Moxey (Librarian), NetGalley

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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