No Better Classroom Than Nature: Re-Imagining Early Childhood Education

By Emma Huvos (ECE Outdoor Educator, Founder, Riverside Nature School) When I taught in a traditional preschool classroom, I was constantly spending time and money I didn’t have to create what I thought were inviting, exciting spaces intended to foster deep and meaningful play. Week after week, I fussed over signs and props and materials […]

Playing In The Fields Of Mars

By Jailson Lima (Chemistry Professor, Vanier College, Montreal, QC, Canada) Playfulness is crucial in setting the mood for exploring creativity and imagination. In my History of Science course (which is mandatory in the Liberal Arts program at Vanier College) we study the evolution of science going from Aristotelian cosmology to Newtonian Physics, and then to Einstein’s view […]

Play Matters: Play-Full Teaching In Higher Education

“For children, play is learning” (Keynote, Children & Nature Network, April, 2017) Some topics get a lot of airtime in education. The value of play for children’s well-being and intellectual development is one such topic. There is ample research to back up this claim (e.g. Ginsburg, 2007; Lewis 2017). But if I change one word—“For […]

Imagination, Creativity, and…Assessment?

By Katie White (Educational consultant, Author, Assessment Associate, & Art Instructor) Consider, if you will, that the importance of imagination and creativity inside our school spaces is not up for debate. Let’s begin by moving past this discourse and, instead, asking ourselves how often we associate imagination and creativity with assessment? For some readers, these concepts might […]

Engaging Imagination In Higher Education: Use These Tools With Adult Learners

Great teaching inspires learners. By “inspire”, I mean it leaves them feeling emotionally engaged or connected with the content knowledge. Emotional engagement matters as much in primary school as it does in graduate school. It matters as much in K-12 Art, History, Mathematics, Science or Languages classrooms as it does in institutions of Higher Education. Whatever […]

The Place Of Wildness And Wonder In Critical Thinking

By Ira Rabois What is critical thinking? One element of critical thinking that most everyone agrees on is “higher order thinking,” which includes evaluating the appropriateness of evidence, the truth of propositions, and the soundness of arguments. But is this enough? I think you need to add imagination, mindfulness and empathy, and to think of critical […]

Imagination and Coding: The Key to Unlocking The Real Power Of Code In Schools

“No matter how much a grown-up cares for you, sometimes they can’t really change how you feel inside or you could be too afraid to tell them that you are being bullied. I wanted to create an app where kids could solve that problem immediately.”           Melissa R, Grade 4 (View Melissa’s […]

Not Just A Hamburger: Imaginative Education In Action

BEFORE YOU DIG IN…Why the monstrous hamburger? This post was originally a 5-minute presentation I delivered at #GetFed, an #EDVent in Vancouver hosted by @gabrielpillay1 (and his wonder-team) that had a “food” and “dining” theme. My topic: “Practices that feed the mind and nourish the imagination.” And so I chose to focus on a hamburger. My writing […]

Education As Adventure

By Ira Rabois As a child, I dreamed of being an adventurer. My parents traveled every year to different places and countries, and this stimulated my imagination. For me, college was not just a time to learn a profession or for intellectual study. It was an opportunity for the possibilities of life to reveal themselves […]

Tips For Imaginative Educators #19: Stimulate A Sense Of Agency

Welcome back to the Tools of Imagination Series—a set of posts offering cross-curricular resources and teaching strategies for maximizing student engagement and learning. This TIP in our series will be most effective with learners demonstrating a “philosophic” kind of understanding of the world but–as you will see at the end–it is not only for our oldest students. (Note: This […]

Learning In Depth: We Are Thinkers, We Are Communicators, We Are Creators

By Tara Scott (Learning Assistance Teacher, Mar Jok Elementary School) Students in Grades K-6 at Mar Jok Elementary school In West Kelowna, B.C., Canada, are in their third year of Learning in Depth. Our school community comes together once a week for a common hour to wonder, explore, create, and think. This year, we are […]

Activeness: Engaging The Body Through Stillness

By Andrea Leeburn (MEd in IE/French Immersion Kindergarten Teacher) I decided to introduce some basic yoga poses to my kindergarten students as part of my Imaginative Ecological Education practice. Practicing yoga can support Activeness by enhancing students’ awareness of their bodies and engaging mental imagery (Judson, 2015, p. 50). I taught yoga once a week for 5 weeks, three […]

A Nature Walk With 22 Five-Year-Olds: Lessons Learned The Hard Way

By Andrea Leeburn (MEd in IE/French Immersion Kindergarten Teacher) *Note: This is the second post in a series that looks at  Imaginative Ecological Education practices with my Kindergarten students. As part of an Action Research, I designed a few activities with the intent of increasing Activeness among my students (Judson, 2015).  Click here to read about my students’ experience creating “nature’s perfume”. On this particular […]

Place-Based Education: Resources & Sources of Inspiration

Last year I was pleased to contribute two posts to a Place-Based Education Campaign initiated by Getting Smart. I wrote about Expanding And Enriching Relationships In Place-Based Education and Guidelines For Assessment In Place-Based Learning. The campaign is now finished and the three-part publication series is available for use by educators. I highly recommend you review/use these resources!  Part One: What is […]