This August, I'll be hosting a read-along and discussion of Imagine by Jonah Lehrer for educators. A handful of people have expressed interest in joining in, and I hope we'll hear everyone's thoughts and ideas in this space as the month goes along! The schedule for the discussion is at the bottom of this post.
Lehrer's book is about creativity, which is not exactly a science. But his examples and vignettes are about creative minds and creative institutions. As teachers, we know that our students will benefit from creative, open-ended experiences that challenge them to solve problems and think outside of the box: those are traits that come from experience and have more real-world application than many academic subjects. We cannot deny that academics are important, but embedding creativity into educational experiences, in my mind, is something that can promote innovation in some of those age-old subjects. Innovation not only in the way that they are learned, but also in the way that they are taught.
Another reason why the subject of creativity feels important for teachers to explore is for our own creativity and innovation. If we expect people that we teach to be creative, don't we need to explore our own creativity? Instead of sitting down in front of last year's planning book and copying old ideas, don't we need to innovate lessons and educational experiences? If we think that we need to give children a variety of modes to express their understanding to respect multiple intelligences, don't we need to accept and explore our own intelligences?
As teachers, we spend a lot of time thinking about what can make education, from individual classrooms to public policy, better. Reading about creativity is about practicing what we preach. I really hope you'll read along!
The post with a discussion prompt for the chapter listed will be posted on the day listed. Please plan to have read that chapter and join in as soon as it is posted! You can subscribe to the blog by email on the righthand side of the page.
Monday, August 6 : Chapter 1, Bob Dylan's Brain
Thursday, August 9 : Chapter 2, Alpha Waves (Condition Blue)
Monday, August 13 : Chapter 3, The Unconcealing
Thursday, August 16 : Chapter 4, The Letting Go
Monday, August 20 : Chapter 5, The Outsider
Thursday, August 23 : Chapter 6, The Power of Q
Monday, August 27 : Chapter 7, Urban Friction
Thursday, August 30 : Chapter 8, The Shakespeare Paradox + Wrap Up Discussion
We have a few days to read each chapter, so if you have an opportunity to read slowly and keep notes on what you're thinking in relation to education, it will be easier to share and discuss. The prompts will be open ended, and I encourage you to ask your own questions in the discussion as well!
Sharing your thoughts is key to the discussion aspect, so please join in the conversation in the comments! Feel free to start conversation about the introduction in the comments section of this post if you're ready to begin.