When: 15 Aug 12
Who: Karynne Kleine & Julia Metzker
What: Planning IC-bG publication – The need for imaginative learning in the curriculum.
KLMK to write about
We’re interested in transformative education wherein learners acquire transferable problem-solving skills and come to value the experience as much as or more than any long-term economic outcomes they may envision from obtaining a college degree.
We have elected to challenge the conventional understanding of “education” at our university via faculty support & development because research shows that the teacher and the interactions she can facilitate that is the most important influence on transformation of students.
How we got here
We seek theoretical underpinnings for the work in transformation and discovered Egan. We don’t think Egan is well known or employed in higher education settings so we investigated how to disseminate the theory to foster professional development and student learning alike.
Our work toward transformation (creative) goal of fostering independent, flexible thinkers who are more disposed to engage with learning and better equipped for the rigors of post-secondary curriculum, in other words imaginative education that is truly transformative.
Data—number of courses that have dispositions related to creativity in courses
Data—20% drop C&C, probably high-risk students unwilling to risk working “off-script” in an unfamiliar environment that requires self-direction and persistence. They “opt out” even when “opting out” doesn’t seem reasonable or “permitable” to us.
JM to write about
Our work toward transformation (creative)
1) we will provide an exposure to the theory of IE to fellow IC-bG members
2) we are developing a series of critical thinking course that all freshman at our university must complete with the goal of fostering independent, flexible thinkers who are more disposed to engage with learning and better equipped for the rigors of post-secondary curriculum, in other words imaginative education that is truly transformative.
Applying Imaginative Education at the Post-Secondary Level
One of the strongest contemporary advocates for educating for creativity is Kieran Egan, an educational philosopher who for nearly three decades has promoted a theory of Imaginative Education (IE, 1988). As an educational theory that addresses philosophical questions such as the aim of education as well practical matters pertaining to curriculum and instruction, IE is difficult to summarize. Suffice it to say that proponents of the theory intend to remake education into to a “system that enables the unusual and effective to flourish wherever possible” (IERG, 2008). There is a considerable body of research indicating that both students and teachers benefit greatly from imaginative teaching and learning. However, this has largely been carried out at schools with learners in grades Kindergarten through high school. Thus there is a dearth of investigation as to how IE might be used in colleges and universities to allow the “the unusual and effective to flourish” (IERG, 2008). This paper is to present the work of one grass roots faculty development group as it learned about and sought to implement aspects of IE into their university.