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Posted by on in Teaching Strategies


“Small shifts in your thinking, and small changes in your energy, can lead to massive alterations of your end result.”
― Kevin Michel


No More Lectures. Down With Lectures! Never Again Will I Lecture.

And I encourage you to do the same.

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Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

Breaking News: Without suitable pedagogical intervention, more learners will suffer from a very serious condition called arteriosclerosis of the imagination. This often debilitating condition is marked by limited flexibility of thought, an undeveloped sense of wonder, and a reduced ability to envision the possible in all learning.

The primary cause? Rigid and restrictive learning processes and environments that exclude students' emotional engagement and that include out-dated conceptions of how human beings actually learn.

Imagination-focused pedagogy is the topic of this Tools of Imagination Series.  Our Tips for Imaginative Educators are powerful remedies for arteriosclerosis of the imagination. Here’s the latest.

#6 Laugh As You Learn

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Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

Human beings have bodies. Obvious?  Yes.  Unfortunately, the fact that all learners have bodies is far too often forgotten in education.

After elementary school, it is unusual to see educators employing teaching and learning practices that engage the body. When I was a secondary school teacher I rarely saw embodied practices in any classes other than Fine Arts and PE. At that time, I didn’t consider how to employ the body in my teaching of French grammar or history. I heard nothing about the body’s role in learning when I did my teacher training. Now, at my university, I rarely hear my colleagues discussing how to deepen meaning in their graduate or undergraduate courses in ways that engage the body. This is a huge problem.

The fact we have bodies has HUGE educational implications. It means that wherever we are, we have a set of tools that help us to learn new things and to make sense of our experiences. Kieran Egan’s theory of Imaginative Education reminds us of this: our bodies are the primary means through which we make meaning in the world around us.

One of the dangerous misconceptions we continue to hold in education is the sense of the “rational mind” as somehow divorced from the feeling body. Many educators do not appreciate or understand the ways in which the body’s tools can deepen and enrich all learning.

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Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

blue paper boat

The metaphor is a super-charged tool of the imagination; it has novelty built right into it.

Metaphors matter for teaching because they spark our ability to envision the possible—they represent divergent or lateral kinds of thinking. They help us to learn by engaging our emotions, enriching meaning, and revealing nuanced ideas.  

When it comes to metaphors and learning I have good news, bad news, and better news to share. 

Metaphor: The Good News

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Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

Think. Design. Create. Test. Analyze. Think. Design. Iterate. Test. Solve. Improve. Solve better.

Think you're done? Think again!

The Design Thinking Process is really a cycle that looks something like this:


Take the iPhone. Apple releases a new model every year. Why? Profit of course! But, each version is better. It offers something new. Something desirable. Something that solves a past problem and improves the user experience.

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