Imagination is the Source of Creativity and Invention This series of essays has been collected expressly to bring readers new ideas about imagination and creativity in education that will both stimulate discussion and debate and also contribute practical ideas for how to infuse our daily classrooms with imaginative activities. In a world that values creative innovation, it is distressing that our schools are dominated by an educational paradigm that pays too little attention to engaging the imagination and emotions of students in the curriculum and the worlds challenges that the curriculum is designed to prepare students to meet. The ability of children to think creatively, to be innovative, enterprising, and capable, depends greatly on providing a rich imagination-based educational environment. It is only when we consider the imagination a vital component of our lives and one of the great workhorses of learning that we recognize the importance of adding the imaginative to the study of the affective, cognitive, and physical modes of our development. Doing so fills a gap that has led to incomplete accounts of childrens development, their subsequent learning needs, and indeed, how to fulfill these needs in educational environments.
This discussion, about the importance of imagination and creativity in education, has been taken up by researchers and educators around the world. It is represented here by writings from authors from Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Italy, Israel, Japan, and Romania. In the first part of this book these authors explore and discuss theories of development, imagination, and creativity. In the second part they extend these theories to broader social issues such as responsible citizenship, gender, and special needs education, to new approaches to curriculum subjects such as literacy, science, and mathematics, and to the educational environment of the museum.
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Kieran Egan in a Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. He is currently Director of the IERG. His interests include trying to sketch a somewhat new educational scheme based in part of Vygotskian ideas, and also working out ways to help students and teachers find the regular subjects of the curriculum more imaginatively engaging. He graduated from London University with a B.A. in History, and from Cornell University with a Ph.D. in Education. Krystina Madej is an Adjunct Professor at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University. She was recently a Postdoctoral Fellow with IERG. Her research is concerned with how narrative is mediated by different technologies and creates meaning for us, in particular in digital narrative and video games. She returned to academia after a successful career in communications and design. She holds a BFA from Concordia University, a MAPW from Kennesaw State University, and a PhD in Digital Narrative from Simon Fraser University.