Big Idea: Using the concept of imagination in learning as a way of developing flexible, independent thinkers.

This course developed out of discussions with fellow faculty about the students’ lack of persistance in courses perceived as “hard” or “out of their natural affinities”.  We began discussions about where this behavior originates and how we might help students understand the importance of being flexible and focusing on transferrable skills instead of only content.  We decide that one way to do that would be to build a course around learning theory and research in imagination.  Now to work out the details …

Potential Titles

Critical Thinking: Thinking Outside the Box

Critical Thinking: Learning to Use Imagination

Critical Thinking: Imagination and Learning

Critical Thinking: Creative Thinkers

Critical Thinking: Unusual Thinkers

Some ideas

Most of these are unformed and undeveloped but I want to get them down.  I’ll revise later.

  • Einstein as a case study – using individuals who have made significant, out of the box contributions to fields and were NOT trained by the discipline (is there a correlation in their ability to think outside of the accepted constructs and their training? are their examples in other disciplines?)
  • Thinking about how out of the box thinking can be institutionalized – Google v. Microsoft, wiki v. reviewed literature,
  • Pitfalls of too much imagination, pitfalls of too little.

Course Goals – Updated 8/26/12

  • To develop the flexibility, intentionality, and agency of the imaginatively engaged learners by
    • developing independent and flexible thinking skills.
    • critically analyzing their own capacity for imaginative thinking.
    • establishing a value for imaginative thinking.
    • investigating the role of imaginative thinking in K-12 and higher education.

[i’ll come back to this soon]

One Thought on “A new course idea – imagination and learning

  1. I think this makes a good overarching goal: To develop the flexibility, intentionality, and agency of the imaginatively engaged learner. The others seem like subgoals to me. I think drawing comparisons and contrasts of IE learning to other higher order outcomes such as critical thinking and then evaluating the benefit of each would be another outcome.

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