Research Focus: Imaginative Education Research Group

profile, research office

July 30, 2015

Imaginative Education Research Group (IERG) focuses on teaching and learning by engaging the imaginations of students, learners and teachers. IERG, comprised of a group of educators whose work on Imaginative Education (IE) is currently used by thousands of people all over the world, introduces new theories, principles, and practical techniques for making education more effective and more engaging for students and teachers.

IERG Research

The team has successfully developed several programs under the IERG umbrella that includes:

  • Learning in Depth: focuses on engaging individual students in extensive and intensive study of a specific topic throughout elementary and secondary school.
  • Imaginative Ecological Education: a cognitive-tools approach to teaching designed to help educators make their practice more imaginative and ecological. (Based on the work of Gillian Judson and partly through the work of Sean Blenkinsop)
  • Imaginative Science Teaching Program: focuses on teaching and engaging in science and technology using IE principles. (Based on the work of Dr. Shawn Bullock)
  • Imaginative Literacy Program: uses IE in the fields of teaching of literacy. (Currently in the development stage and supported by Carolina Lopez, Research Assistant)
  • Imaginative History Teaching Program: focuses on the areas of History and Social Studies using IE teaching principles and practices. (Directed by Dr. Katherine Ireland)
  • Whole School Projects: an entire school comes together by taking on a particular topic to study for three years.(Directed by Dr. Kieran Egan)

 

Simon Fraser University education professor Kieran Egan's  discusses Learning in Depth, which suggests a simple innovation that can transform schooling.

Dr. Kieran Egan

“All the knowledge in the curriculum is a product of someone’s hopes, fears, passions, or ingenuity,” says Kieran Egan, IERG founder and Professor at Simon Fraser University. “If we want students to learn that knowledge in a manner that will make it meaningful and memorable, then we need to bring it to life for them in the context of those hopes, fears, passions, or ingenuity. The great agent that will allow us to achieve this routinely in everyday classrooms is the imagination.”

Meet the Directors

Dr. Kieran Egan, Professor, SFU Director, IERG

Dr. Shawn Bullock, Assistant Professor, SFU / Director, IERG

Gillian Judson, Lecturer, SFU Director, IERG

Dr. Mark Fettes, Associate Professor, SFU / Director, IERG

Sean Blenkinsop, Associate Professor, SFU / Director, IERG

Print

“All the knowledge in the curriculum is a product of someone’s hopes, fears, passions, or ingenuity. If we want students to learn that knowledge in a manner that will make it meaningful and memorable, then we need to bring it to life for them in the context of those hopes, fears, passions, or ingenuity. The great agent that will allow us to achieve this routinely in everyday classrooms is the imagination..”  (IERG, 2015).

Key Facts

  • Connects ones imagination with the world to teaching and learning
  • Imagination is crucial to learning and teaching
  • Engagement helps to bring to life educational curriculum
  • ‘Imaginative Educator’s’ focus on building upon the way a child understands his or her experiences to help the child learn
  • The use of real life and personal ‘experiences’ to educate and learn rather than more traditional methods of storage and retrieval (or “banking”)

Connect with IERG

Imaginative Education Research Group
c/o Faculty of Education
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6

Email: ierg-ed@sfu.ca
Phone: 778-782-4479
Website: www.ierg.ca