Imagination in Teaching and Learning: The Middle School Years

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

It is widely believed that a child's imagination ought to be
stimulated and developed in education. Yet, few teachers
understand what imagination is or how it lends itself to
practical methods and techniques that can be used easily in
classroom instruction. In this book, Kieran Egan—winner of
the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for his work on
imagination—takes up where his Teaching as Story Telling
left off, offering practical help for teachers who want to
engage, stimulate, and develop the imaginative and learning
processes of children between the ages of eight to fifteen.

This book is not about unusually imaginative students and
teachers. Rather, it is about the typical student's
imaginative life and how it can be stimulated in learning,
how the average teacher can plan to achieve this aim, and how
the curriculum can be structured to help achieve this aim.
Slim and determinedly practical, this book contains a wealth
of concrete examples of curriculum design and teaching
techniques structured to appeal specifically to children in
their middle school years.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Apr 21, 2014
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Pages
188
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ISBN
9780226244136
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / General
Education / Secondary
Education / Teaching Methods & Materials / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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What can you do with a pack of marshmallows and some tinfoil? Create innovative, engaging learning opportunities; if you embrace the teacher geek mentality. What was your best lesson like? Rachel Jones thinks that her best lessons have happened when she's been brave enough to wonder, 'What might happen if ...?' and done something a bit different. That is what Teacher Geek is all about: making the most of the resources you have at your disposal, and shaking up your thinking about what will inspire, engage and motivate learners. A teacher geek will look to exploit all potential learning opportunities, and be comfortable with taking risks by working with resources from outside their subject area. You have nothing to lose by trying a few new ideas out in your classroom. What is more, a little teacher geek thinking can make lesson planning a whole lot easier. Here Rachel shows you how to blend edu-geeky analogue and digital teaching techniques, and offers suggestions on how to inspire your students, revitalise your practice, and gain the rapt attention of your class. Teacher Geek shows you how to turn your passion as an educator into real results in your classroom. It is all about celebrating a real love of teaching and learning. It doesn't matter whether you have access to the latest technology, or whatever else you have at your disposal, it is all about creativity, confidence and celebrating achievement. And - let's face it - there is more to life than worksheets. Suitable for all teachers.
Finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize • “In all of the literature addressing education, race, poverty, and criminal justice, there has been nothing quite like Reading with Patrick.”—The Atlantic

A memoir of the life-changing friendship between an idealistic young teacher and her gifted student, jailed for murder in the Mississippi Delta

Recently graduated from Harvard University, Michelle Kuo arrived in the rural town of Helena, Arkansas, as a Teach for America volunteer, bursting with optimism and drive. But she soon encountered the jarring realities of life in one of the poorest counties in America, still disabled by the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. In this stirring memoir, Kuo, the child of Taiwanese immigrants, shares the story of her complicated but rewarding mentorship of one student, Patrick Browning, and his remarkable literary and personal awakening.

Convinced she can make a difference in the lives of her teenaged students, Michelle Kuo puts her heart into her work, using quiet reading time and guided writing to foster a sense of self in students left behind by a broken school system. Though Michelle loses some students to truancy and even gun violence, she is inspired by some such as Patrick. Fifteen and in the eighth grade, Patrick begins to thrive under Michelle’s exacting attention. However, after two years of teaching, Michelle feels pressure from her parents and the draw of opportunities outside the Delta and leaves Arkansas to attend law school.

Then, on the eve of her law-school graduation, Michelle learns that Patrick has been jailed for murder. Feeling that she left the Delta prematurely and determined to fix her mistake, Michelle returns to Helena and resumes Patrick’s education—even as he sits in a jail cell awaiting trial. Every day for the next seven months they pore over classic novels, poems, and works of history. Little by little, Patrick grows into a confident, expressive writer and a dedicated reader galvanized by the works of Frederick Douglass, James Baldwin, Walt Whitman, W. S. Merwin, and others. In her time reading with Patrick, Michelle is herself transformed, contending with the legacy of racism and the questions of what constitutes a “good” life and what the privileged owe to those with bleaker prospects.

“A powerful meditation on how one person can affect the life of another . . . One of the great strengths of Reading with Patrick is its portrayal of the risk inherent to teaching.”—The Seattle Times

“[A] tender memoir.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
For generations, schools have aimed to introduce students to a broad range of topics through curriculum that ensure that they will at least have some acquaintance with most areas of human knowledge by the time they graduate. Yet such broad knowledge can’t help but be somewhat superficial—and, as Kieran Egan argues, it omits a crucial aspect of true education: deep knowledge.

Real education, Egan explains, consists of both general knowledge and detailed understanding, and in Learning in Depth he outlines an ambitious yet practical plan to incorporate deep knowledge into basic education. Under Egan’s program, students will follow the usual curriculum, but with one crucial addition: beginning with their first days of school and continuing until graduation, they will eachalso study one topic—such as apples, birds, sacred buildings, mollusks,circuses, or stars—in depth. Over the years, with the help and guidance of their supervising teacher, students will expand their understanding of their one topic and build portfolios of knowledge that grow and change along with them. By the time they graduate each student will know as much about his or her topic as almost anyone on earth—and in the process will have learned important, even life-changing lessons about the meaning of expertise, the value of dedication, and the delight of knowing something in depth.

Though Egan’s program may be radical in its effects, it is strikingly simple to implement—as a number of schools have already discovered—and with Learning in Depth as a blueprint, parents, educators, and administrators can instantly begin taking the first steps toward transforming our schools and fundamentally deepening their students’ minds.

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