IERG News & Updates March 2016
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 1st edition of 2016!
Spotlight on Prof. Kieran Egan
I have been asked to briefly write about my retirement from Simon Fraser University and what I imagine its effects might be for me and for the work I have been doing with IERG. Perhaps the main effect is that my retirement has meant that Mark Fettes has kindly taken over Directorship of the Centre for Imaginative Education, the umbrella organization for all our programs, and the effect of that will likely be much more efficiency and effectiveness in our work generally. So I am delighted to keep passing over bits and pieces, files and documents, pictures and proposals—and there’s much more to pass along to Mark.
My attempt to run the IERG always reminded me of the Hilaire Belloc rhyme:
Lauda tu Ilarion audacem et splendidum*,
Who was always beginning things and never ended ‘em.
[*Praise be to you, Hilaire, brave and splendid].
But, at least, we certainly began many things, and what is most prominent when I think back over the past 15 years since we started IERG is the many talented people who have generously given of their time, skills, and energy such that the IERG has become an organization that seems to me to have done and continues to do good, promoting ways of making the world meaningful and imaginatively engaging to children. I am constantly surprised by how many children, students, and teachers our work has influenced, in an astonishing number of countries around the world. It has been a constant delight to have been able to work with—and I hope continue to work with—so many wonderful IERG colleagues, even though it has been a constant embarrassment that so much of their work has been inadequately funded and done mostly on a volunteer basis. So I don’t imagine I will be disappearing from IERG, and will try to remain energetic in helping the spread of the Learning in Depth program, and will hope to remain in touch with as many of the good friends I have made through our work, conferences, talks, and workshops as possible. And I wish Mark well, and confidently expect to see our work develop and elaborate and ramify in the future under his thoughtful and intelligent direction.
But retirement has consolations, of course, like more opportunities to walk down the street holding the hand of our youngest grandchild as he seriously tells me bits of what is in his strange mind.
Congratulations Kieran On Your Retirement!
The beginning of 2016 marks a milestone for the IERG. Dr. Kieran Egan—friend, colleague, teacher, guru—has officially retired from his position as Professor and Canada Research Chair in the SFU Faculty of Education. With greater and sometimes lesser reluctance he worked for SFU for 44 years (because they paid him moderately well) inspiring and influencing literally thousands of students. He has made countless contributions to educational scholarship and research. We offer Kieran our congratulations and best wishes for a long and happy retirement, knowing that he will remain closely connected with the IERG and continue to inspire and guide us in the years to come.
IERG will continue to be led by a group of Directors recruited from Education faculty, with Dr. Mark Fettes taking over the lead role as Director of the Centre for Imaginative Education at SFU. Mark has worked closely with Kieran since the founding of the IERG; he was the lead researcher on the LUCID project which explored using Imaginative Education to engage Aboriginal children in school, and has recently collaborated with Dr. Sean Blenkinsop on a variety of ecological and place-based education projects. He foresees continuing and strengthening the IERG’s key projects and programs, including workshops and collaborations with teachers in BC and developing relationships with universities and research groups in other countries.
NEW IE–focused BLOG
Get imagination-focused lesson ideas, teaching tips, and resources! Gillian Judson and Adelle Caunce started a Blog that is all about IE and IEE in January. It is called “imaginED” and can be accessed here: gillianjudson.edublogs.org
The blog is for educators of all ages of students in all contexts. It is intended to support IE teachers by offering cognitive tool-focused resources.
A few posts so far include:
- Calling All Imaginative Science Teachers!
- Calling All Imaginative Math Teachers!
- Inspiration! 3 Resources for Imaginative & Ecological Teaching
- A Walking Curriculum: Walking & Learning K-12
- For The Love of Language–For English/Second Language Teachers
- The Odd Origins of The Encyclopedia
- Learn To Live Attentively In A Media Mad World (Part 1)
The blog also teaches about IE to anyone unfamiliar. Posts so far that introduce IE:
- The Tools of Imagination Series: Tips For Imaginative Teaching
- How To Make All Learning Meaningful & Memorable: Teaching As Storytelling.
- The Danger of Designing Lessons For Thinkers
- Imagination Misunderstood
There are also wonderfully random and randomly wonderful ideas about education through the IE lens.
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A Recent NIET Meeting
Imaginative Education In Latin America
International Seminar On Creativity and Innovation in Education at Universidad Finis Terrae