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ERIC Number: EJ1111169
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0034-4087
Teaching and the Imagination
Townes, Emilie M.
Religious Education, v111 n4 p366-379 2016
Emilie Townes begins by describing her childhood growing up as a Black middle class girl headed toward womanhood in the South in the late 1950s, 60's and early 70s. Townes writes that growing up during that time filled her with a host of experiences and memories that continue to shape her today. She writes that she learned about racism from the Black and White folks around her, and it was an education that puzzled her because racism made and continues to make no rational sense. Growing up in a world rich with words and religion meant that she learned at an early age to learn to survive the daily small and sometimes large indignities of racism by negotiating it with creativity, imagination, and sometimes humor, while maintaining her integrity and sense of self. Although educators sometimes forget the power of this kind of organic education that raised most of us, within this education children were taught to cultivate their imagination and dream of what might be. She argues for the transformation of society, and encourages educators to cultivate "counter memories" which help educators to step outside themselves and refuse to measure all realities by ideological stereotypes. She explains that counter memory encourages educators to craft expansive pedagogies in their teaching and learning lives rather than metaphorically dragging students out of their chairs and across a wasteland of ideas that maim more than educate. Townes argues that with integrity as a part of the foundation of imagination, educators can make better and healthier use of time by releasing classrooms into spaces of creativity and daring to tackle ideas--not as things to be memorized but as sources to use in daily life. Townes challenges teachers to reject participation in a hegemonic to imagination that has no vision or integrity but rather to provide embodied vision that draws students beyond the realities of the present to an ideal, a program that challenges institutions to think boldly regardless. [This article is the text version of a plenary address given on November 6, 2015, before the Religious Education Association at its annual meeting, in Atlanta, Georgia. Portions of this address are drawn from Townes' book "Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil" (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006).]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A