• Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Archives
    Archives Contains a list of blog posts that were created previously.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Empathy Requires Imagination

Posted by on in School Culture
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 2233

empathy

Empathy. Inclusion. Acceptance. Kindness. Respect. 

These are qualities we want our communities to exemplify. These are qualities we often seek to directly cultivate in our schools. Anti-bullying programs, multi-cultural clubs, and policies supporting LGTBQ students, are positive initiatives that move us away from ignorance and towards greater understanding.

My fear is that these kinds of explicit programs/policies, on their own, can not nurture the culture of care we desire. The qualities we seek require ongoing attention to bloom. They must be cultivated across grade levels and subject areas each and every day. I believe all teachers can play a role by educating the imaginative capacities of their students.

b2ap3_thumbnail_compassion-857736_1280.jpg

Imagination Matters

Without imagination it is impossible to empathize. It is imagination—the ability to envision the possible—that enables us to feel another’s point of view. Imagination allows us to “take on”—to some small degree—another’s perspective. Imagination allows us to experience the world differently. Imagination is a capacity of the mind that engages our emotions and can connect us in meaningful ways to our near (and distant) neighbours.

So next time you talk about cultivating empathy—or inclusion or acceptance or kindness or respect—in your school, I urge you to also talk about pedagogy, and how (or if) the ways you teach enrich the flexibility and richness of your students’ thinking. 

Educating the imagination is not a “quick fix” but it does contribute to the culture of care we seek for our schools and communities. 

More about imagination-focused pedagogy: www.educationthatinspires.ca 

 

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:

Gillian Judson (@perfinker) teaches/writes/researches in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University in B.C., Canada, co-directs the Imaginative Education Research Group (IERG), and coordinates Imaginative Ecological Education (IEE) research and practice. Her work is primarily concerned with the role of imagination in all learning.  She also investigates how an ecological and imaginative approach to education can both increase students’ engagement with, and understanding of, the content of the curriculum but can show it in a light that can lead to a sophisticated ecological consciousness. 


Gillian writes on a range of educatonal topics but especially about imagination, creativity, wonder, story, and ecological/place-based teaching practices. She is author of the books Engaging Imagination in Ecological Education: Practical Strategies For Teaching (Pacific Educational Press, 2015) and A New Approach to Ecological Education:  Engaging Students’ Imaginations in Their World (New York:  Peter Lang; 2010). She most recently co-authored a book called Imagination and the Engaged Learner: Cognitive Tools for the Classroom. (New York: Teachers’ College Press; in press). 


She has also edited the book Teaching 360°: Effective Learning Through The Imagination (Rotterdam: Sense Publishing, 2008) and co-edited the books Engaging Imagination and Developing Creativity in Education (Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press; 2015) and Wonder-Full Education:  The Centrality of Wonder (New York: Routledge; 2013).


She started a blog in 2016. Learn all about imagination-focused practices (K-post secondary) at imaginED: education that inspires.

  • No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Tuesday, 28 March 2017