Imaginative Education

My research has led to a number of projects with associated publications and websites to promote and give examples of various ideas in practice. The main umbrella project is the Imaginative Education Research Group, which I founded in 2001. Because engaging students’ imaginations in learning, and teachers’ imaginations in teaching, is crucial to making knowledge in the curriculum vivid and meaningful, we call this new approach Imaginative Education (IE).

Principal Investigator: Dr. Kieran Egan

What's Proposed

The work of The Imaginative Education Research Group is dedicated to showing how this can be done in classrooms, where so much of the curriculum is routinely taught as though its natural habitat were a textbook rather than the fears, hopes, and passions of real people. Students too commonly find it dull, lifeless and un-engaging. The ideas, materials, and practices on this website can show how to bring the curriculum to life.

How This Project is Carried Out

The IERG website has sections in Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Catalan, Portuguese, Romanian, etc. There are active groups implementing these ideas and practices in many countries around the world. The implications for education are to make teaching and learning more engaging, meaningful, and effective.

The website provides:

  • Planning frameworks for teachers wanting to apply IERG ideas
  • Many examples in all curriculum areas for download and use
  • Teacher tips for using the ideas in simple ways in daily teaching
  • An M.Ed. program for teachers who want to study this work and develop their skills in these directions
  • A list of workshops in many countries, and conferences held at regular intervals in Canada and abroad.

How This Project is Put into Action

Corbett Charter School in Oregon, U.S., is running all of the programs accessible from the main IERG website.

Corbett Charter School is ranked Number 3 in the U.S. on The Washington Post's Challenge Index, leading all schools in 49 states. The two top-ranked schools share a single campus in Dallas, Texas. One is an engineering magnet, the other a school for talented and gifted. Corbett is a community school.

In addition, IERG ideas and practices and the Learning in Depth (LiD) program can be found in schools in many countries. LiD has developed from an idea four years ago to implementation in hundreds of schools and a dozen countries today.

Where to Learn More