Imagination – revitalise the ‘inner eye’.

This is about appealing to children’s imagination and having students walk round inside their heads.

(Adults are ‘big children’. This vignette can apply equally to grown-up as well as children.)

Imagination can be a powerful tool. Having children simulate situations through appeal to their imagination can be a very powerful supportive learning aid. Having children put themselves in the pace of literary characters, into historical situations, using the ‘mind’s eye’ to imagine life in another country, simulating situations regarding applied maths – the list goes on – can be a powerful teaching tool and conceptual reinforcer.

Imagination can run riot in terms of the richness of variables and probabilities that light up the minds of children. Keeping students focussed is the role that belongs to the teacher. If allowed the opportunity for development and use, it is a quality that adds to the vibrancy and ‘life’ in lesson situations.

With oral texts, shared reading can be enhanced if students are asked to use their imagination for the sake of predicting, considering consequences, analysing characters in readings and so on. This can extend to include drama and the acting out of scenarios. Imagination also has credence in more academic contexts, including Science and Maths if students are ‘invited into’ these domains. This is situational learning where students are given questions based on real life scenarios. Maths, Science, Literacy and SOCE all lend themselves to scenario learning.

Imagination could certainly help with the management of home schooling, by adding vitality to learning situations.

Scenario learning is also stimulating for teachers because it encourages them to use their imagination in order to set the learning scenes.

Children’s imagination can be quite boundless. However with the use of electronic gadgetry and games I fear that imagination has diminished, because of undue influence by technological takeover. Devices can stand in the place of children determining outcomes and play by setting the agenda to which children simply react.

I used to say to children at all age and grade levels, that we have three eyes; the left, eye, the right eye, and the mind’s eye. That eye is the imaginative eye and it sits in our brain behind our forehead. It can ‘see’ in the same way as our physical eyes by taking us to places in our heads.

Imagination can be a powerful tool facilitating teaching and learning opportunities in classrooms. It can enhance teaching and learning contexts and also build memories of the created events and scenarios. And it can certainly be of use in these coronavirus isolating times.

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