Imagination in the Classroom – notes from Copenhagen 24 March 2015
hobby / sport
e.g. this is what they mean
first name - Dorothy
animal = family name - Dinosaur
job - dentist
hobby / sport - diving
favourite 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?
What is a horse?A beautiful, brave, powerful animal? NO!
'Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth, namely twenty-four
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:
One size fits all
Learning is linear
Idea of fixed ability
Facts are important
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..
Robert Fisher, Teaching Children to Think, 1990
John Holt says that learning and experimenting is natural for children..
The child 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..
Imagination is an essential part of human intelligence.
Creativity is applied imagination
Ken Robinson, Out Of Our Minds, Capstone, 2001
UK National Curriculum Report, 1988, lists the following attitudes as ‘important at all stages of education’:
Respect for evidence
Willingness to tolerate uncertainty
Creativity and inventiveness
Co-operation with others
Why be creative?
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 lives.
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.
The most important attitude that can be formed is that of the desire to go on learning..
John Dewey, 1938
(1859 – 1952, American philosopher
and educational reformer)
Using the words below make a one word sentence, then a two word sentence, then three, then four …. And keep going
teenagers parents radio
cows coffee politics
a in on an to we their I
sexy green fat rich quickly
dancing is eat was say think
…feel best 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 sticks?
The only time my education was interrupted was while I was at school.
Why be creative in language lessons?
We are all different
Different response to same stimuli enrich learning
Play with ideas and language
Make language and learning meaningful
Satisfaction - flow
Use language for a reason
Push what we use language for