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Without question, we must change our educational approach, and we in education are not
the only ones that understand this. Take a look at just a few of the organizations who have
recently addressed this problem of using imagination in education.
Center on Education Policy
George Gund Foundation
National Education Association
National Governors Association
National Association of Manufacturers
New York Times
US Chamber of Commerce
US Council for International Business
In fact, a number of these organizations including the NEA, have funded a group called The
Imagine Nation, which is looking to what is needed to turn our system around.
Below are the recommendations of The Imagine Nation.
1. Implement innovative teaching styles and instruction to build capacities of the imagination.
2. Support interdisciplinary processes and approaches. Save money and time by organizing discrete
subjects around a thematic interdisciplinary process.
3. Relate to learner lifestyles. Know your learner audiences and adjust to contemporary methods.
4. Teach beyond assessment. Move beyond average and scoring that focuses on the minimum, which
ultimately stifles students and educators alike.
5. Build capacities of the imagination by supporting time and resources for an education in and
through the arts.
All of this is great, but there is one big question that must be asked when talking about how to get
imagination and creativity skills into our curriculum. That is, how do we do this and keep teaching the
skills students need for state testing? Imagineducation has the structure to address this conflict of
goals. Imagineducation has a structure designed to bring these into alignment by combining skill, drill,
thinking, applying and using our imagination to get there. As research has shown, the programs that
are the most effective are the ones that combine thinking techniques and strategies with a
multi-faceted framework. Imagineducation is based on that kind of framework.
What is Imagineducation?
Over the last ten years the idea of change is synonymous with education. As we are trying to find the
perfect answer to all we need to teach, education constantly swings from one end of the pendulum to
the other until we find the perfect solution. In fact, I am sure that over the time it has taken you to read
this paragraph, the educational philosophy of your school has changed three times.
The problem is that there is no perfect solution for every education situation. Teaching is an art, and
we must use what we know in different ways at different times in order to get the highest achievement
out of each student. What we use is a basic structure and some basic tools to create the best learning
situations for our students.
This is Imagineducation. It is a structure and some new tools that allow you to do what you do best for
your students. In other words, Imagineducation gives you the structure that allows you to use your
imagination and creativity, which is the exact same thing you are giving to your students.
Imagineducation is not a rigid, new philosophy of teaching where you must learn everything new.
However, Imagineducation does incorporate the first 4 recommendations of the The Imagine Nation
group, including innovative teaching styles and instruction that build the capacities of imagination,
while moving beyond teaching for assessment.
Here are a few things that Imagineducation is, to help you understand a little better,
Imagineducation is the idea that students excel by developing their imagination and by tapping into
all students innate need to use there imagination.
Imagineducation is taking the best of past educational research, combined with skills development
to help students tap into their innate need to use their imagination.
Imagineducation is used to increase comprehension and skills within a subject, and to increase
problem solving abilities throughout the curriculum.
Imagineducation is not only a goal but a tool.
Imagineducation is putting knowledge and skills into practice.
Imagineducation is taking the skills and content that need to be learned, but putting them in a
situation where students are motivated because they are involved in the story, and use their natural
imagination to go beyond the basics to create new applications of the material.