Imaginative Education

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 […]

Empathy Requires Imagination


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 […]

Tips for Imaginative Educators #9: Let them Obsess

Don’t worry, theyaren’t hoarders. You may be relieved to hear that it’s very common for young peopleto collect things. Starting fromabout age 7 through to about age 14 or 15, collecting is a popular pastime formanyyoung people.What did you collect? One thing Icollected was stickers. I still have my sticker books and–believe it or not–30+ […]

My Teaching “Top 5”– What Are Yours?

Earlier this year I connected with other educators who like to blog. We came together over #sunchat, a Twitter-based Sunday morning chat. We called ourselves the #Sunchatbloggers!We provide each other with feedback and encouragement. Someone in the group suggested we all post on the same topic: our “Top 5”. Some people will post about strategies, […]

Tips For Imaginative Educators #8: Identify The Heroic

The world is full of heroes. Some of our heroes are peoplethat exemplify qualities such as ingenuity, flexibility, agility, determination, or reliability. For example, we are impressed bytheextraordinary speed and strength of basketball playerLebron James, or theextraordinary agility and accuracy of soccer player LionelMessi. We are awestruck by the perceptiveness and intelligenceof scientist Marie Curie. […]

Tips for Imaginative Educators #7: Identify Mysteries

Everyone lovesa puzzle. Imaginative educators pull their students in; they intrigue them. They puzzle them. Of course, leaving studentspuzzling doesn’t mean leaving themutterly confused. By “puzzling” I meancapturing students’curiosity.Mystery intrigues us; it evokes emotion and imagination. An imaginative educator will model how learning about the world requires an inquiring spirit and a willingness to explore […]

Lessons for Living Attentively in a Media-Mad World

social media

My kids think I’m exaggerating. I’mnot. I grew up without a cell phone. So, when I was away from home, Ieitherdidn’t talk to anyone who wasn’t with me (gasp) orI brought a quarter and used a pay phone. (What’s that?)My first computer was practically the size of a smart car. I looked things up in […]

Tips For Imaginative Educators #6: Laugh As You Learn

Breaking News:Without suitable pedagogical intervention, more learners willsufferfrom a very serious condition called arteriosclerosis of the imagination. This often debilitatingcondition is marked by limitedflexibility of thought, an undeveloped sense of wonder, and a reducedability to envision the possible in all learning. The primary cause? Rigid and restrictive learning processes and environmentsthat exclude students’ emotional engagement […]

Tips For Imaginative Educators #5: Engage The Body

Human beings have bodies. Obvious? Yes. Unfortunately, the fact that all learnershave bodies is far too often forgotten in education. After elementary school, it is unusual to see educatorsemploying 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 […]

Tips for Imaginative Educators: #4 Metaphors Matter

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 representdivergent 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 […]

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