Welcome to imaginED!
This blog is designed to support and enable imagination-focused teaching in all contexts, from formal to alternative learning contexts, and from primary school through post-secondary education. It is about education that inspires.
By imagination we mean wonder, we mean a lingering sense of awe, a desire to know more, and pleasure in learning. We mean the sense of the possible that has been the genesis of all invention in the world. We believe imagination to be one of the most, if not the most important dimensions of meaningful and memorable learning whatever the topic.
We provide teaching ideas, activities and resources aimed at students of all ages (pre-k through post-secondary). Imagination-focused teaching applies to all educational settings (the traditional “classroom”, alternative learning environments, the homeschool etc.), and to all subject areas. The imagination is as important to learning mathematics, sciences, economics or languages, as it is to the arts. (Quick link: Imagination Misunderstood.) We offer practical ways to centralize imagination and emotion in your teaching and, thus, to make what you teach more meaningful to your students.
We offer cross-curricular teaching resources, general ideas and insights, comic-relief, and practical strategies for teaching a broad range of subject areas. This blog is not going to reproduce any of the more “scholarly” aspects of Imaginative Education or Imaginative Ecological Education—those interested in learning about theory and principles can access the links and developed websites provided.
About Us: Gillian & Adelle
I am an educator, researcher, and parent. I am also the red-head in this operation.
In my role as a Faculty of Education member at Simon Fraser University (SFU), I teach mostly about an imagination-focused approach to teaching called Imaginative Education (IE) and the specific ways to engage imagination in learning all aspects of the curriculum. We often forget that all meaningful and memorable learning involves the imagination.
My current research explores imagination and ecological or place-based education. I began with the question, How can we develop students’ ecological understanding as part of their everyday education? It has developed into an approach called Imaginative Ecological Education, or IEE. IEE is about engaging the body and emotion in place-based and imagination-focused teaching. All ages, all topics, all contexts.
I am also a parent of two girls. As a parent, I want to maintain and enrich their sense of wonder and engagement in a world that is mindbogglingly cool. I believe worms never get boring and birdsong is never ordinary. I believe mathematical, scientific, and historical concepts are best learned within the contexts of the hopes, fears, and passions of those who developed them. I believe the semi-colon, colon, exclamation mark, and interrobang are unsung heroes and deserve our utmost respect. Most of all, I believe teaching is story-telling. The curriculum offers us many opportunities to experience this wonder-full world.
I am an artist, parent, and proud smart alec. I’m also the alpha-helix hair in this operation.
Gillian always has such faith in me. I’ve either completely bamboozled her (such a fun word), or my Do-it-Yourself Brainwashing and Breadmaking Kit actually works! In either case, Gillian has welcomed me aboard and into the exciting sea of panicking over doing art stuff, deadlines, and putting yourself ‘out there’ we go. Huzzah.
To this end I bring: a dark, warped sense of humour, several years spent art school, traditional hand-drawn and 3D animation school, and a life time of amazement and wonder at the world around us. I love the dark places of the world, the deep abyss with the glowing photophores and giant teeth. I love the bright barren deserts and the tiny creatures that survive there for years without water, the hive of thousands with jaws that carve, crush, and catch. I love it all and firmly believe that our role on this fantastic planet is to learn from these creatures and to respect them better than we do ourselves half the time. I’m the idiot out there on rainy days picking worms off the sidewalk and putting them on drier land. The one saving spiders from vacuums and lecturing very patient people on the dangers of placing rat poison out (it can end up killing owls and hawks! And how amazing are owls and hawks? …Actually, rats themselves are astoundingly amazing creatures too!). This world is an incredible place and a lifetime spent learning about it, is a lifetime well spent.
A word on permissions:
Please feel free to use these ideas, materials, activities, and freebies for all your teaching needs. We enjoy sharing ideas, activities and resources with our readers and hope you have fun using them. We hope they inspire you and your students and support your teaching.
Please do not host our files on your blog, website or any other public place (you can instead include a link to our blog). Do not share our files on a file sharing site, link directly to the .pdf, or alter or modify our files. Do not sell any of the content or include it as part of a kit for download where you profit.
We want to acknowledge that while we try to use our own images and those provided (with permission) from our guest bloggers, the source of many of our wonderful images is pixabay. Thank you!