A ‘Lopsided View of Human Intelligence’: How to Grow Imagination in Higher Education

Some books just push me to write—Joseph Aoun’s (2017) Robot-proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence was one of those. I wasn’t more than five pages into the book when I felt compelled to get out my highlighter. That’s a good sign. The book is full of compelling arguments for educating the imagination. If […]

Virtual Reality Learning


The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless. – Jean Jacques Rousseau We say “a picture is worth a thousand words” and then ask our students to imagine things they cannot see. In chemistry, we show two-dimensional representations of atoms, create crude drawings of molecules on classroom boards, and use […]

Re-Imagining Educational Leadership: Beginning With Coffee

I recently participated in a seminar on “student engagement” with new and experienced teachers, principals, vice-principals, and district-level educational leaders. We started with a basic icebreaker activity. We were asked to introduce ourselves by giving our names and sharing one word that reflects a central aspect of our educational philosophy. My chosen word led to […]

Oddly Enough…

…writing poetry can feel like doing ballet in a phone booth. Poetry. Boring? Government. Ordinary? Math. Lifeless? We think not. I had the pleasure this week of working with a diverse group of 42 secondary school teachers. They came from many different schools and taught a range of topics in Grades 8-12. The session was […]

Tips For Imaginative Educators #15: Lure Them With Abstraction

It can be intoxicating to realize that a whole world of abstract ideas exists that can explain and help us interpret the world of our daily lives. If supported in thinking in theoretical ways, many of our senior students/adult learners quickly and thoroughly take to the powerful understanding of the world that abstract ideas can […]

Tips For Imaginative Educators #14: Engage the Literate Eye

Whether early or accomplished readers, if your students read, then their emotions and imaginations can be evoked when they engage the “literate eye”. Add this to your cognitive toolkit: literate students learn better when they have opportunities to work with information in different visual formats. So, encourage your students to play with graphs, charts, tables, […]

Tips For Imaginative Educators #13: Go To Extremes For Learning

Bookslike the Guinness Book of World Records or Ripley’s Believe it Or Not never stay on the shelf for long. Young people tend to be fascinated (even obsessed)with the limits of experience andthe extremes of reality–these kinds of books reveal all the record-breaking aspects of the world.I recall leafing through our own home copy of […]

Tips For Imaginative Educators #12: Spice Things Up

“Variety’s the very spice of life That gives it all its flavour.” (Source: The Task(1785), Book II, “The Timepiece”William Cowper1731-1800) Most people likevariety; it keeps life interesting. Unfortunately, few people associate typical schools or classrooms with variety. Indeed, it is the routinization of patterns and behaviors that makes mostclassrooms run like well-oiled machines. In addition, […]

Tips For Imaginative Educators #11: Get Controversial

Engage Their Inner Rebel. Adolescence contains the makings of a perfect storm. At a time when young people are establishing asense of self and getting a grasp on how the world works, they also have limited freedom. There are rules. Everywhere. They have “written” and “unwritten” rules to follow at school, at home, in society […]

Tips For Imaginative Educators #10: Humanize

Every learner is unique. Effective teachers know this and they work constantly and creatively tomeet the needs of all the students in their classrooms. Effective teachers also knowthat amidst the great diversity within theirclassrooms, there is something that all learners share:emotional responses. Every topic you teach connects to anemotional human experience. Shared human emotions createthe […]

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