Fall 2017 - EDUC 725 G031

Engaging Students' Imaginations K-Post Secondary: Introducing Cognitive Tools (3)

Class Number: 8121

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA

  • Instructor:

    Gillian Judson
    Office Hours: By arrangement
  • Prerequisites:

    Course only available to students in the Graduate Certificate in Imaginative Education Program.



Imaginative Education (IE), is an approach to teaching that describes the central roles played by 'cognitive tools' (learning tools tied to language) In our intellectual development in the growth and transformation of imagination and its engagement in learning. Persistent conflicts underlie claims about the purposes, and, thus, the most appropriate forms, of education. IE embodies an innovative approach to the theory and practice of everyday education. IE is an approach in which the imagination is seen as one of the great and lately neglected, workhorses of learning. The course will examine the distinctive theoretical and practical dimensions of IE and demonstrate preliminary practical applications of this approach to particular subject areas / contexts.


This course serves as a program foundation: it introduces the theoretical premises (within historical and philosophical contexts) and practices of IE for the online Graduate Certificate Diploma in IE.

Course Overview:
The course begins by exploring philosophical, historical and developmental influences on curriculum and instruction. Selected readings aim to highlight the persistent conflicts that underlie claims about the purpose of education and, thus, the most appropriate forms of education. Students will be encouraged to investigate these different perspectives and the educational issues they provoke in relation to their own educational practice or teaching specialty. The course then focuses on Imaginative Education (IE) and the central principles of “cognitive tools” and “kinds of understanding”. Students will work individually and in groups to develop familiarity with the “cognitive toolkits” that come along with oral, written and theoretical forms of language.


Students will be able to: describe important philosophical, historical, and developmental influences on curriculum and instruction; differentiate the Imaginative Education (IE) approach from other pedagogies; demonstrate theoretical understanding and skills for practical implementation of IE through the use of cognitive tools.


  • a) On-Going Weekly Activities. Throughout the course students will be responsible for completing ongoing weekly assignments that relate to assigned readings and course concepts. 40%
  • b) Analytical paper. Students are required to write a short analytical paper that analyzes IE through different theoretical lenses introduced in class. 30%
  • c) Practical Application: Cognitive Tool Explorations. Students are required to develop, field-test, and reflect upon subject-specific activities that employ cognitive tools in teaching. 30%



Egan, K. & Judson, G. (2015). Imagination and the engaged learner: Cognitive tools for the classroom. (Teachers’ College Press: New York)
ISBN: 978-0-8077-5712-3

Egan, K. (1997). The educated mind: How cognitive tools shape our understanding. University of Chicago Press: Chicago
ISBN: 0-226-19039-0

A list of additional readings will be provided in the first class.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html