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new book – ‘Hungry Minds: The Origins of Curiosity in Childhood’ by Susan Engel

March 9, 2015

The Hungry Mind

The Hungry Mind: The Origins of Curiosity in Childhood by Susan Engel (Harvard University Press, 2015)

(kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk), (UK kindle ed.)

Book description from the publisher:

Despite American education’s recent mania for standardized tests, testing misses what really matters about learning: the desire to learn in the first place. Curiosity is vital, but it remains a surprisingly understudied characteristic. The Hungry Mind is a deeply researched, highly readable exploration of what curiosity is, how it can be measured, how it develops in childhood, and how it can be fostered in school.

Children naturally possess an active interest in knowing more about the world around them. But what begins as a robust trait becomes more fragile over time, and is shaped by experiences with parents, teachers, peers, and the learning environment. Susan Engel highlights the centrality of language and question-asking as crucial tools for expressing curiosity. She also uncovers overlooked forms of curiosity, such as gossip—an important way children satisfy their interest in other people. Although curiosity leads to knowledge, it can stir up trouble, and schools too often have an incentive to squelch it in favor of compliance and discipline.

Balanced against the interventions of hands-on instructors and hovering parents, Engel stresses the importance of time spent alone, which gives children a chance to tinker, collect, read about the things that interest them, and explore their own thoughts. In addition to providing a theoretical framework for the psychology of curiosity, The Hungry Mind offers educators practical ways to put curiosity at the center of the classroom and encourage children’s natural eagerness to learn.

Google Books preview:

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new book – ‘The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve Our Lives and Our World’ by Anthony Biglan

March 1, 2015

The Nurture Effect

The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve Our Lives and Our World by Anthony Biglan (New Harbinger, 2015)

(kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk), (UK kindle ed.)

Book description from the publisher:

A fascinating look at the evolution of behavioral science, the revolutionary way it’s changing the way we live, and how nurturing environments can increase people’s well-being in virtually every aspect of our society, from early childhood education to corporate practices. If you want to know how you can help create a better world, read this book.

What if there were a way to prevent criminal behavior, mental illness, drug abuse, poverty, and violence? Written by behavioral scientist Tony Biglan, and based on his ongoing research at the Oregon Research Institute, The Nurture Effect offers evidence-based interventions that can prevent many of the psychological and behavioral problems that plague our society.

For decades, behavioral scientists have investigated the role our environment plays in shaping who we are, and their research shows that we now have the power within our own hands to reduce violence, improve cognitive development in our children, increase levels of education and income, and even prevent future criminal behaviors. By cultivating a positive environment in all aspects of society—from the home, to the classroom, and beyond—we can ensure that young people arrive at adulthood with the skills, interests, assets, and habits needed to live healthy, happy, and productive lives.

The Nurture Effect details over forty years of research in the behavioral sciences, as well as the author’s own research. Biglan illustrates how his findings lay the framework for a model of societal change that has the potential to reverberate through all environments within society.

Google Books preview:

See also: Book website

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Kindle Daily Deal (Wed. 2/25) – $1.99 for ‘The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment’ by Elizabeth Grace Saunders

February 25, 2015

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Kindle Daily Deal for Fri 2/20 – ‘Leap: The Science of Trust & Why It Matters’ by Ulrich Boser

February 20, 2015

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Kindle Daily Deal (Sun. 2/15) – ‘Emotional Intelligence 2.0′ by Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves

February 15, 2015

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