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ERIC Number: ED559596
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 189
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3033-1249-6
Imagination in Twenty-First Century Teaching and Learning Teachers as Creative-Adaptive Leaders in the Classroom
Dias, Shamini Samanlatha Elizabeth
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Claremont Graduate University
This dissertation explored the value and functions of imagination in leading learning in the twenty-first century, a knowledge-based age marked by diversity, change and unpredictability. In such a context, how can imagination enable teachers to be leaders of learning who optimally engage and prepare students for success? Research in cognitive science and neurobiology shows that imagination is broadly relevant to life, rather than just an aesthetic ability. Imagination helps us to work with uncertainty, possibilities, and multiple perspectives. It also promotes prosocial behavior and empathy. Therefore, imagination could be a valuable capacity for leading learning in the knowledge economy. While this suggests a relevance to twenty-first century education, imagination has been little explored outside early childhood settings and the arts. In addition, imagination processes are congruent with complexity principles that have been explored in research on learning and adaptive organizations in the twenty-first century. Although educational reform, drawing from this research, has included teachers in leadership roles, the focus has been primarily on roles outside the classroom. Research has not sufficiently identified classroom teachers as leaders of learning in complex contexts in relation to their students. In exploring how imagination could support teachers to navigate and thrive in complex contexts, this dissertation used a qualitative, interpretive phenomenological approach. The study was done with thirty-two participants (experienced and beginning teachers, teaching artists, and four-year and community college students). The interviews used open-ended, structured, and image-based questions about qualities needed for success in the near future, qualities of effective teachers, and qualities of exemplars of imagination. The findings yielded a preliminary model of pragmatic imagination, in which flexibility and openness interacted with and supported rigor and persistence in a creative-adaptive process. These findings identify effective teachers as imaginative or creative-adaptive leaders who engage students, work with diverse and competing needs, share and instill positive self-visions, and persist for and with their students toward success. The study also points to further research toward a pedagogy of imagination for teacher education programs that will develop teachers as imaginative leaders of learning in complex contexts of change. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A