Welcome to the IERG ProD 2016




09.00 am – 02.30 pm



This professional development day is an excellent opportunity for you to meet with 3 of our IE experts, Dr. Annabella Cant, Dr. Gillian Judson, Dr. Kym Stewart, and with other attendees who all share the passion for Imaginative Education.

Dr. Annabella Cant


Workshop: Wonderfully Connected Education
How to prevent and overcome gaps in early childhood education

We, teachers, are privileged. We are some of the few adults who are still able to enjoy pure moments of wonder. We have not grown up by closing the wings of imagination for the sake of serious rationality. We dream, we laugh, and we work loving. What makes us privileged? Who minds our capacity for awe? Who are our guides? You guessed it: children. Their immediate vicinity makes us better humans. So, let us promise ourselves that we will do everything possible and impossible to keep our children’s power to wonder alive.
This workshop is dedicated to the prevention and resolution of possible gaps and disconnects within the education of young children. It reminds us how to slow down, enjoy our time with children and co-create knowledge with them. The atmosphere of the workshop is collaborative; Annabella considers that there are valuable lessons to be learned from each other and that sharing expertise and passion will provoke the drive to become more reflective and more creative practitioners.

Participants will get a glimpse of children’s genuine capacity for openness and wonder by feeling it themselves. Annabella will remind her participants how to be joyful, playful and open, and why these states of mind provoke deep and long-lasting learning in children.

Dr. Gillian Judson


Workshop: Imagination & (Eco-)Learning (grade 4-8)

This workshop is all about education that inspires! How do we teach in ways that enrich and develop the imaginative capacities of all students? How do we engage imagination in all subject areas to enhance student learning with the new BC curriculum? How do we engage students emotionally and imaginatively with their world? These are a few of the questions we seek to answer at the Imaginative Education Research Group (IERG) (http://ierg.ca). IERG programs/resources connect to Kieran Egan’s theory of Imaginative Education (IE) and the imagination’s role in all learning—across subject matter and with students grade 4 – grade 8.

This full-day interactive workshop introduces principles and practices that support both imaginative and ecological engagement in learning across the curriculum. The Imaginative Ecological Education, or IEE approach (www.ierg.net/iee), is very unlike how the vast majority of teachers were trained to teach. IEE aims to engage students’ emotions and imaginations with learning the subject matter of the mandated curriculum and nurture the emotional and imaginative core of ecological understanding—the understanding of one’s immersion in the natural world. Beyond principles and classroom practices, participants will explore a few IEE activities that are particularly suited to supporting imaginative engagement and ecological understanding.

Dr. Kym Stewart


Workshop: The drama of representation in the media: a look at IE for secondary education

The pixelated blips on the screen seen in early games such as Spacewars (1958) or Pong (1964) cannot match the immersive technologies that our students now hold in the palm of their hand. Every day we see how intertwined our students have become with media-driven entertainment industries and we know mass media has, for some time, instigated complex and heated debated among researchers, educators and parents. These debates often divide into two sides: condemning or condoning media use.

We don’t, however, need to pick a side in the media debate, we only need to find the stories to help student unpack the taken-for-grantedness of the media in our lives because media use, particularly interactive media, is often too personal to unpack in a critical way. Imaginative Education and its tools for developing lesson plans has been useful in nurturing thoughtful and meaningful engagement with complex and personal issues such as media use, identity and our understanding of representation in the media.

This workshop will pull out elements of the new BC curriculum including representation, aboriginal perspectives and media literacy and take participants through lesson planning and an understanding of the role of the imagination in teaching. Kym will show that IE can help provide a framework to deal with the ‘big questions’ asked in the new curriculum.

PROGRAM AT A GLANCE for ALL 3 workshops

08.30 am – 09.00 amSign-in
09.00 am – 09.15 amIntroduction & Announcements
09.15 am – 10.15Workshop
10.15 am – 10.30 amCoffee/Tea break
10.30 – 12.00 pmWorkshop
12.00 pm – 12.30 pmLunch
12.30 pm – 02.00 pmWorkshop
02.00 pm – 02.30 pmFinal Announcements



University Highlands Elementary School

9388 Tower Rd, Burnaby, BC V5A 4X6

Paid Parking at SFU parking available!
No parking available at University Highlands.


What contributed to your positive feelings for the day?

Inspiring as we deal with new curriculum in BC

The variety. Good for teachers from many subjects and grade levels.

The sense of wonder was exemplified and was contagious! I was inspired.

The enthusiasm of all the speakers was great; it has made me even more excited to start teaching.

Workshops were great—not too long & lots of examples.

Inspiring speakers and educators.

Good conversations and lots of learning.