IERG News & Updates December 2015
IERG News & Updates is our way to keep you informed about some IERG activities worldwide. You will find examples of Imaginative Education in action, interviews with practitioners, as well as short pieces describing our different programs, publications, and events.
We welcome your feedback, and as always, please feel free to share this with your colleagues and students, so that everyone can stay connected.
Enjoy our 5th edition!
Minutes from a NIET meeting
As the sun set, turning SFU Surrey’s glass façade into a sparkling display of shifting lights, 11 harried and hurried Imaginative Education (IE) teachers added 2 hours to their day to discuss the new curriculum. What a splendid way to spend the evening hours!
The consensus was that the new curriculum being implemented in BC actually fits very well with the principles of IE. There are many references to ‘sustained learning on a chosen topic’ (LiD); wonder and engagement appear frequently in the Science curriculum and the move to more ‘big ideas’ and away from prescribed learning outcomes was welcomed by IE teachers. However, we recognize that many other teachers are uncomfortable with the less prescriptive format and greater freedom to choose learning activities.
We then broke into 2 smaller groups – the LiD group and the Mythic Tools group. Teachers who needed clarification or help with planning their activities benefitted from the small group discussions. One of the issues raised in the Mythic group was that of non-readers in Grade 5 and beyond, which inhibits the transition from Mythic Tools to Romantic Tools.
New information about the Danish graphic designer, Christian Boer, was shared. He has designed a new font that makes it easier for dyslexic people to distinguish between similar letters dyslexiefont.com. He himself is dyslexic and therefore has the emotional engagement to find such a seemingly simple solution to a devastating problem.
The meeting ended at 6:30 pm with everyone going away feeling refreshed and enthusiastic about their teaching practice.
Spotlight on 2015 MEd graduate: Ryan Hughes
What is your teaching assignment like?
For the past eight years I have worked in Richmond, teaching Grades 4 through 7. This year, I have decided to work closer to home, TTOCing in Maple Ridge and Langley School Districts and spending more time with my family. I am passionate about teaching all ages, though my experience has mostly been with intermediate (romantic thinking) students.
How would you characterize what it is like being an imaginative educator?
Exhilarating. Before I began my journey through the Imaginative Education Masters program, I always felt that there was something missing in my teaching practice. No matter how much I tried to learn new and different programs, I always felt that my students were not as excited about learning as they could be. Imaginative Education gives me a different perspective.
How has your IE approach to teaching changed your students’ learning experiences?
By honouring the importance of emotional engagement and utilizing the cognitive tools, I find my students learn more passionately and remember what they have learned. I am still trying to use and incorporate IE more fully into my practice and hope to see even better learning moments.
Do you have an anecdote or favourite lesson you could share?
My students love hearing me tell stories. I can tell that I have their full emotional attention, when they are sitting on the edge of their seats, leaning in to hear what will happen next. This doesn’t always happen but when the story has a certain rhythm and sense of tension, I can see genuine interest in their eyes.