ERIC Number: ED345813
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-May-25
"Imagination Bodies Forth the Forms of Things Unknown": Reflections on the Crisis in Education.
Streeter, James H.
The present crisis in education is so severe that to return to the "basics," or simply to improve the standard approach to instruction, will only make the situation worse. Missing is a recognition of the importance of the imagination in the learning process. I. A. Richards (1925) has identified six distinct aspects of the imagination: (1) the production of vivid images, usually visual; (2) the use of figurative language; (3) the sympathetic reproduction of other people's states of mind; (4) inventiveness in the combining of disparate ideas; (5) relevant connections for scientific or technical purposes; and (6) the recognition of opposite or discordant ideas. Educators need to encourage a literacy of the imagination. In order to achieve this, the focus of classroom activity needs to shift from providing answers to helping students formulate thoughtful, carefully worded questions which are important to them. Students should feel that what they bring to the class is of value. They must be placed in classes appropriate to their level of skill. Assignments need to emphasize the acquisition, rather than the display, of knowledge. Teachers should encourage an ongoing evaluation of their work by students, and attempt more frequently to take the viewpoint of the learners. Learners should be encouraged to function as a community, rather than as individuals in competition with one another. Administrators, too, should be seen by faculty as both contributors and learners in this community. The use of interactive multimedia technology can contribute to the process. Realizing this new learning environment would require a substantial investment, not of cash, but of imagination. (JSP)
Descriptors: Classroom Environment, Community Colleges, Creative Teaching, Creative Thinking, Educational Change, Educational Philosophy, Educational Principles, Foreign Countries, Imagination, Instructional Innovation, Learning Processes, Teacher Expectations of Students, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Methods, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 24-27, 1992).