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The Curiosity Cycle (Second Edition): Preparing Your Child for the Ongoing Technological Explosion Paperback – March 17, 2014
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"The book overflows with informative bites that you will want to quote to everyone you know. If you're at all interested in learning, education, child development, or even how adults learn and think, The Curiosity Cycle is a must read." - GeekDad
"If Mugan starts his book with wisdom that would have been familiar to our grandparents, he ends it with wisdom that seems to come from our future grandchildren." - Singularity Hub
About the Author
Jonathan Mugan is a research scientist focusing on machine learning. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin. His thesis was centered in developmental robotics, which is an area of research that seeks to understand how robots can learn about the world in the same way that human children do. He received his B.A. in Psychology from Texas A&M University.
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What is a parent to do?
Read the Curiosity Cycle and recognize that the atmosphere you create at home (or the museum or park) and the way you talk with and to your children, how you answer their questions or play with them, is the BIGGEST antidote to an educational system that is either failing them due to mediocrity or squashing them with the Latest Trend in hyper-learning. It is also refreshing that the answer has very little to do with plonking children in front of a computer or tv screen!
I disagree with the reviewer who believed this book to be a long rambling opinion with no science behind it. Or something that is accessible only to parent with an IT/AI background. I was a humble Liberal Arts major back in the day. This person might have been hoping for more of a checklist or formula. Do this, IQ will increase x points. But that is not the point of the book.
Mr. Mugan gives loads of real-life examples, conversations, ideas on how to spark Curiosity as a mindset and a joyful habit - many taken from his own family interactions and experiences (experiments?). Verbal games you can play with your child. Beneficial computer games. He explains both the how and the why and give specific ways to teach, ask, foster, and nurture what he refers to as "flexible and adaptive thinking". The type of thinking that will encourage your child to be ahead of the game (or perhaps authoring the game!) that will be required by the Technology that is around the corner.
I especially appreciated his message that a physically active child is a happier, more open to learning child. (My paraphrasing). That getting out to play soccer and enjoy any outdoor fun activities is one important key for growing bodies and minds.
It is likely true that robots are our future. This excellent little book will help you equip your kids with the mindset and success to be their bosses rather than associates. To raise the shepherds, instead of the sheep. To be a leader in whatever field they choose. Or at the very least, kids who become grownups who fully enjoy their vocations and keep inquiring minds!
Skim the "read this" features. Read the free chapter he posted on his website. Then buy a copy for yourself, your best friend, your neighbor. ALL of our children deserve to be prepared for the ongoing technological explosion! To be simply curious kids.
Worth the price and the time. A cursory read took about 45 minutes, but you could spend 2 hours going in depth.