Masters of Education Degree (Imaginative Education)
This MEd program is based on two aspects of the Imaginative Education Research Group’s (IERG) work. The first involves coming to understand how students’ imaginations develop during their school years. The second aspect involves exploring ways to enable teachers routinely to engage students’ imaginations in better learning the material of the curriculum in everyday practice. It seeks to accomplish this by:
1) Exploring some alternative and innovative ideas about education;
2) Engaging teachers in the active reworking of subject matter so as to capture learners’ imaginations;
3) Working with teachers to plan, implement and evaluate their use of these innovative ideas in practice.
The faculty members teaching in the program are all members of the IERG group. They are committed to working with teachers in the study of their practice and in collaborating with them in bringing about more imaginative learning situations.
New MEd program proposed for September 2013:
MEd Curriculum & Instruction: Imaginative Education with a Learning in Depth focus (Surrey, BC)
MEd Curriculum & Instruction: Imaginative Education (Santiago, Chile)
(For further information related to the programs, explore the rest of this website)
LUCID explores the potential of imaginative education in improving academic and other educational outcomes in B.C. public school districts with high numbers of aboriginal students. The project was initially funded by the Social Studies and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). We call the project LUCID, and you can read about it in detail here. The LUCID project is headed up by Mark Fettes.
Learning In Depth
This research project is concerned with assessing the results of pilot programs implementing the LiD idea, which is that students be allotted a topic early in their schooling and then continue to study that topic through the rest of their school career, as well as the usual curriculum. We have had funding for two research projects on the program, both of which indicated significantly positive results. We are currently composing a couple of articled from the results and these will be added here when completed. You can read more about the LiD program here. The LiD project is headed up by Kieran Egan.
There are currently two research initiatives connecting Imaginative Education and ecological education. One initiative grows from the work of Gillian Judson, as initially described in her book A New Approach to Ecological Education. Imaginative Ecological Education, or IEE, is a cognitive-tools approach to teaching designed for all educators interested in making their practice more imaginative and ecological. For more information, go to: http://www.ierg.net/iee/. Gillian Judson heads up the IEE program.
A second initiative involves a whole new conception of what education could look like if one were to take ecological ideas seriously. It is funded in part by a $1-million grant from the Community-University Research Alliance of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The project aims to create, from the ground up, an educational program that is place-based, imaginative and ecological. For more information, go to: http://es.sd42.ca/. Sean Blenkinsop heads up the Eco-school project.
Whole School Projects
The idea is that each school will take on a particular topic to study for three years. The whole school will be involved in the study. The topics might involve local phenomena―such as “plants and animals of the desert” if the school is in Alamogordo, New Mexico; “sheep farming” if it is in Walworth, New Zealand; “water resources” if it is in West Vancouver, Canada; “the Columbia River Gorge” if it is near Portland, Oregon; “the castle” if it is in Ludlow, England, or “the Yarra River” if it is in Melbourne, Australia, etc. Alternatively, it could involve quite distant things―such topics as “the Solar System”, or “desertification and attempts to combat it,” “ocean life,” “migrating animals,” and so on.
All students and all classes will be involved. The rest of the curriculum will continue much as it is, but some time will be given over during which the school as a whole builds up its knowledge of the chosen topic, directed towards a large-scale final product―to which everyone contributes, and in which everyone can take pride. While the WSP is distinct from, and is in addition to, the regular curriculum, the “whole school project” can help achieve many of the year’s curriculum objectives in mathematics, science, art, history, and so on. Any teacher can choose to incorporated their curriculum aims into the project study, even when those aims also include meeting externally mandated achievement levels. For more information, go to: http://www.ierg.net/wsp. This project is currently undergoing its first implementations, and research will follow these. This program is headed up by Kieran Egan.
Imaginative Education Research Network (IRNIE)
The International Research Network on Imaginative Education (IRNIE) is a collaborative project among the IERG and national and international partners. IRNIE's mission is to generate leading research in education by developing new approaches to teaching and learning by fostering and sharing theoretical frameworks, research methods, and educational materials. IRNIE brings together established and new researchers from across Canada and internationally who have come to see imagination as central in some way to their research agenda. You can read more about IRNIE here . Thomas Nielsen and Bob Fitzgerald are heading up the IRNIE program.