IERG News & Updates October 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 2nd edition of 2016!


The International Scene: Santiago, Chile

Imaginative Education In Mexico


Cmolik Prize For The Enhancement of Public Education in BC

Congratulations Dr. Annabella Cant!

Study With the IERG: New Programs

The International Scene

Santiago, Chile

img_2428-copyIn July 2016 Dr. Gillian Judson spent a week teaching in Santiago, Chile, at Universidad Finis Terrae. She offered a short course of workshops on Imaginative Education for students in a Masters program on Creativity and Pedagogical Innovation. She was warmly welcomed and hosted by UFT professor and Director of Graduate programs in Education Marilu Matte, as well as Magdalena Merbilhaa and Soledad Acuna of the the IERG’s South America chapter (Educación Imaginativa Chile).

On the last day of her stay in Chile Gillian gave a keynote presentation on the role of imagination in learning followed by a workshop on Imaginative Ecological Education to a full house of teachers from Santiago.

SFU and the IERG were pleased to form an international partnership with Universidad Finis Terrae earlier this year. Dr. Natalia Gajdamaschko and Dr. Kieran Egan are committed to go to Santiago to offer workshops to this cohort of students in the upcoming year. We are hoping to host this enthusiastic group of students at SFU for a conference early in 2017.

Imaginative Education In Mexico

Our work in Mexico continues to grow with our colleagues’ new educational consulting company. Carolina Lopez, graduate from the M.Ed. program in Imaginative Education and Adriana Grimaldo, graduate student from the Masters program in Creativity and Pedagogical Innovation at Finis Terrae University, teamed up to create a company named “Educación Imaginativa de México S.C.” Through the formalization of this association in Mexico Carolina and Adriana have been able to offer IE-based teacher programs and workshops to a variety of institutions.

They are currently involved in offering an 80-hour course/diploma for educators about Imaginative Education in San Luis Potosí, and are implementing the Imaginative Literacy Program at UNACARI’s preschool. (UNACARI is the State of Sonora’s children’s home. It provides foster care, psychiatric assistance and education.)

Carolina and Adriana are also in the planning stages of opening a school with the foundations of Imaginative Education in Hermosillo, Sonora. Their goal is to open doors to the school starting with preschool in the upcoming year and to continue the following years with additional elementary school grades. The aim of this IE-school project is to change cultural perception of ´schooling´ in Mexico through the implementation of IE principles and practices, emphasizing an inclusive and ecological approach.

Stay tuned for more news about their exciting school project!

The latest translations are in!


Find work about Imaginative Education and LiD in Turkish, Romanian, Japanese, and Vietnamese

Egan, K. (in press). Learning in depth: A simple innovation that can transform schooling. Istanbul: Istanbul Kultur Universitesi. (Turkish translation, original work published in 2011.)

Egan, K. (in press). An imaginative approach to teaching. Bucharest: Editura Trei. (Romanian translation, original work published in 2005.)

Egan, K. (2016). Learning in depth: A simple innovation that can transform schooling. Tokyo: Kitaohji Shobo Publishing. (Japanese translation, original work published 2011.)

Egan, K. (2016). Getting it wrong from the beginning: Our progressivist inheritance from Herbert Spencer, John Dewey, and Jean Piaget. Ankara: Pegem Akademi. (Turkish translation, original work published in 2002.

Egan, K. (2015). Learning in depth: A simple innovation that can transform schooling. Ho Chi Min city: Hoa Sen University Press. (Vietnamese translation, original work published in 2011.)

In December Kieran Egan (or someone that looks like him) will be in Europe. He is keynote speaker on the topic of metaphor and narrative in science at a conference supported by Modena University’s Department of Education and Humanities in Reggio Emilia, Italy. (He may then travel on to do something similar at University of Bressanone in Switzerland a few days later.)


The 2016 Cmolik Prize For The Enhancement of Public Education in BC

kieran-2016Earlier this year Dr. Kieran Egan was the recipient of the 2016 Cmolik Prize Forcmolik-ierg-group The Enhancement of Public Education in BC. It was an honour to gather with other IERG members to celebrate this award with Kieran and the Cmolik family at a gala in downtown Vancouver. Get more details about this award and the imagination’s role in the win here. A few highlights from the detailed account of this award from Kris Magnusson, SFU’s Dean of Education:

“The genius of Egan’s Imaginative Education, and the specific application of Learning in Depth, is that it provides a means by which every student becomes an expert in at least one topic, and through this process, their creativity and imagination are unleashed in remarkable ways”

“Learning in Depth may very well be one of the most important educational innovations of the last half century, and could be the mechanism by which the potential of 21st Century Learning can be realized.”

Dr. Kieran Egan was also the recipient of the Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award from CUFA (Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia).

Congratulations Dr. Annabella Cant!

Annabella successfully defended her thesis entitled Unswaddling Pedagogy: Imagining a new beginning to the practice of Imaginative Education in the spring of 2016. Her thesis articulates a new kind of pedagogy that proposes ways of preventing gaps between early learning and “later” learning.

In the words of her senior supervisor, Dr. Lynn Fels:

annabella“Annabella’s thesis offers a significant contribution to early childhood education, and education in general, by expanding upon and enriching the theoretical and thus practical applications and understanding of Dr. Kieran Egan’s life work, Imaginative Education. Her thesis is born of years of teaching with and learning from preschoolers and early childhood educators in Europe and, here in Canada, as she re-conceptualizes and articulates an understanding of an infant’s and child’s early cognitive embodied learning through the lens of Imaginative Education. Annabella takes us on a pedagogical journey, as she enlarges the complexity and space of our understanding of Somatic Understanding (proto-lingual cognitive learning) that is embodied within an infant’s development as a learner, and, illustrates how educators might help children transition into the world of Mythic Understanding (lingual cognitive learning), as children encounter and proceed through preschool and kindergarten. She confidently and eloquently presents evidence from neuroscience research, renowned early childhood researchers, and her own lived experience, illustrating that infants and children actively participate in their world, learning through the body’s own language of exploration, curiosity and wonder. Her hope is that her work will ease the transitional experience of young children as they enter and proceed through informal and formal schooling, and that we all might recognize the wonder and curiosity that is embodied in our own learning, in being present in the world.”

Annabella is currently a professor of Early Childhood Education at Capilano University and a graduate sessional instructor at Simon Fraser University .

Her website ( provides many resources and starts early learning conversations with parents and educators.

Follow Annabella on Twitter @ASKannabella

Study With the IERG: New Programs


Confirm your ProD plans for October 21, 2016. The IERG is pleased to provide a full-day conference event for teachers at University Highlands Elementary School in Burnaby, B.C. You can get information on the full-day workshops and the 3 speakers here. Register today! Deadline October 14!

Are you on Twitter? Connect today with our speakers: Dr. Annabella Cant (@AskAnnabella), Dr. Gillian Judson (@perfinker), and Dr. Kym Stewart (@media_kym).


Study IE From WHEREVER you live! Applications are now being accepted for our ALL NEW fully on-line 1-year Graduate Certificate in Imaginative Education. Yes, you heard correctly! You can study Imaginative Education from anywhere in the world starting May 2017.

You will work with experts in IE from the IERG and will connect with the worldwide community of imagination-focused educators. (NOTE: For those living close to SFU there is an option to ladder from this on-line program to join our MED students and complete a Masters degree.) Want more information?

MED in Imaginative Education Starting September 2017.

We are pleased to be launching another MEd in Curriculum Instruction (Focus: Imaginative Education) program in September 2017. Check the SFU Faculty of Education website for details and deadlines. Information sessions will begin later this year!

If you have any questions about our graduate program offerings in Imaginative Education please contact Dr. Gillian Judson at

Introducing #imaginEDchat. An On-Line NIET (Network of Imaginative Educators)!

MEd Alumni Olwen Cowan and Gillian Judson recently teamed up to launch a Twitter-based networking opportunity for imaginative educators. The first event was a great success on Sept 7 @ 7 PM (PST). You can read the “archive” of this international conversation about imagination in teaching here. We will host an #imaginEDchat on the first Wednesday of every month. So please SAVE THE DATE for the next one with Olwen Cowan on Oct 5 @ 7 PM. The next #imaginEDchat is all about STORY.

(New to Twitter Chats? Click here for some information on how to participate. Start learning about it today by following moderators @MsOlwenCowan‬‬‬‬‬ ‬and @perfinker. More information on Twitter can be found @imaginEDnow or search #imaginEDchat and see what comes up

#imaginED: education that inspires

Since January 2016, Gillian Judson has been busy blogging about all things Imaginative Education. Check out the latest here:

You might be interested in the popular Tools of Imagination series (still in progress) offering TIPS FOR IMAGINATIVE EDUCATORS. There are also increasing numbers of resources for Imaginative History/Social Studies Education, Imaginative Math/Science Education, and Imaginative Language/Literacy/English Education. Educators interested in ecological and imaginative approaches may explore the set of lessons/units or access the Walking Curriculum. We encourage you to subscribe—no spam—so you get a weekly email in your inbox with an update of the latest posts.

Enjoy the following guest posts by imaginative educators around the galaxy:

Dr. Theodore Christou
Does History Have to Be Boring? Engaging Stories In History Education

Dr. Jennifer M. Gidley
Imaginative Education Brings Ecological Thinking To Life

Thomas Larsen and Lisa Tabor Millsaps
Guerilla Geography: Engaging Imagination In Ecological Education

Jason Lima
Unleashing The Imagination In The Natural Sciences With The Visual Arts

Marlene Roseboom
Teaching Poetry From The Inside Out
One Theme For the Entire Year? Engaging Philosophic Understanding

Savas Savides
What is Gamification?

Tim Smythe
The Power of Comics

Dr. Tim Waddington
Aristotle And A Leather Jacket: An Example Of Concept-Centered Teaching

Was Literacy Just A Phase?

And—our Guru:
Dr. Kieran Egan

Do Schools Suppress Rather Than Encourage The Imagination?

Literacy And Driving In Screws With A Hammer

There’s Only One Answer And It’s Always “Plato”

“It takes no longer to be interesting than it does to be boring.”

Want to be a guest blogger on imaginED? Gillian would welcome your contribution. The readership on the blog is growing—Yay!—and your work with IE in all contexts is what readers want to hear about. Please contact her with the work/idea you want to share.

Prefer Spanish? Check out the Spanish section of the imaginED blog!

Learning in Depth: New Resources!

NEW! Where LiDKiDs Connect.

We are pleased to launch on online site for LiDKiDs to connect from around the world. Check it out here. The site is intended to enable LiDKiDs with similar topics to share ideas and support each others’ research. Teachers can register their students or students can register individually. We ask all users to follow basic “Netiquette” guidelines (suggestions on the site).

imaginED Connects LiD Teachers!

More and more LiD teachers are connecting and sharing through imaginED. Here’s a sample of the posts in which LiD teachers share their experiences and expertise. Get in touch with other LiD teachers!

LiD Posts
Doing Learning In Depth (LiD): 10 Tips For Success (Guest Post By Courtney Robertson)

How LiD Connects To Curriculum Topics In Ms. Cowan’s Classroom (Guest Post By Olwen Cowan)

Why Learning in Depth? (Guest Post By Linda Holmes)

Putting Principles Of The Learning In Depth Program (LiD) Into Practice (Guest Post By Yamanda Kaychouhi Boukmakh)

“The more you know about something the easier it is to be imaginative about it.” (Guest Post By Dr. Kieran Egan)

The Magic of LiD:  Moving Learning Beyond Classroom Walls (By Kavita Hoonjan)

Would you like to share a tip for LiD? Would you like to tell others about your LiD program or the LiDKiDs in your class? Maybe your LiDKiDs would like to post on imaginED? Please contact Gillian to discuss possibilities!