Imagination in the Classroom – notes from
Copenhagen 24 March 2015
Choose a letter of the alphabet and keep
all this secret. Write down the following beginning with that letter.
e.g. this is what they mean
= family name - Dinosaur
food – doughnuts
Model the Q&A and let learners get to
know each other.
“NOW, what I want is, Facts. Teach these
boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing
else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning
animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them.”
Charles Dickens, Hard Times
When the focus was all on learning facts
by heart. Has it changed?
A beautiful, brave, powerful animal? NO!
'Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth,
grinders, four eye-teeth, and twelve incisive. Sheds coat in the
spring; in marshy countries, sheds hoofs, too. Hoofs hard, but
requiring to be shod with iron. Age known by marks in mouth.’
Alas learning still seems to be all about:
Examination success is the goal
Yet there is a change of focus:
what we know about language
to what we can do with it
Common European Framework of Reference
Skills that were appropriate 20 years ago no longer prepare children for
the world beyond school.. Changes in society are
accelerating so rapidly that it is difficult to assess what factual knowledge
will be needed for the future..
Fisher, Teaching Children to Think, 1990
John Holt says that learning and
experimenting is natural for children..
is curious…wants to make sense of things… is open and receptive… experimental..
bold… not afraid of making mistakes… is patient…can tolerate an extraordinary
amount of uncertainty, confusion, ignorance and suspense..
is an essential part of human intelligence.
Creativity is applied
Ken Robinson, Out Of Our Minds, Capstone, 2001
UK National Curriculum Report, 1988, lists the following attitudes
as ‘important at all stages of education’:
Willingness to tolerate uncertainty
Creativity and inventiveness
If we have 30 students in one class, they
could go on to have 30 very different jobs.
They may change careers at least once in
Their jobs are likely to require thinking
skills beyond knowing facts.
They will want a richer life than just a
nine to five job.
They need to go on learning.
most important attitude that can be formed is that of the desire to go on
(1859 – 1952, American
words below make a one word sentence, then a two word sentence, then three,
then four …. And keep going
sexy green fat rich quickly
dancing is eat was say
in flow.. fully involved in meeting a challenge, solving a problem, discovering
something new. Most activities that produce flow also have clear goals, clear
rules and immediate feedback..
Imagination is more important than
knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
How many things can you do with chop
only time my education was interrupted was while I was at school.
Why be creative in language lessons?
Different response to same stimuli enrich
Play with ideas and language
Make language and learning meaningful
Use language for a reason
Push what we use language for