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Why Is It So Hard To Put Imagination Back Into Schools? Imagination Summit Discusses Creativity In Schools

A national "Imagination Summit" wants to help schools figure out how to bring creativity and innovation to the classroom. Is it really that difficult?


When you were a kid, you didn't need anybody to tell you how to use your imagination. You made up imaginary friends and spent your time designing LEGO rocket ships that traveled the galaxy without any prompting. And then you started school, and you probably had a teacher tell you to stop daydreaming—stop imagining—in class. You also learned that far from being allowed to think up multiple creative solutions, there was only one right answer to a test question, and if you bubbled it in correctly on a Scantron form, you'd get an A.

Fortunately, because imagination, creativity and innovation are increasingly prized in the workplace, future generations might be spared this dumbing-down process. There's a growing consensus that our public schools need to put those three traits at the center of learning. In an effort to help, over the past two years, the Lincoln Center Institute, a part of New York City's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, has hosted regional conversations about imagination and creativity. This month they're hosting a national Imagination Summit, which will bring together representatives from all 50 states as well as "elected officials, legislators, education experts, business leaders, artists, and scientists." Their goal is to create "an action plan for policy makers, educators, and community activists to put imagination at the forefront of our school curricula."

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Chicago Group Challenges Mayoral Control of Schools

If he wins the Chicago mayoral race, will Rahm Emanuel agree to give up control of the city's schools?


Chicago's mayor Richard J. Daley leaves office next year, and if a new coalition has its way, mayoral control of the city's schools will end with his exit.

A group of teachers, parents, students and community leaders from seven city organizations, including the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and the powerful South Side Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, say it's time to bring a voter elected school board back to Chicago Public Schools. Now the pressure's on Daley's potential replacements-like the mayoral race front runner, former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, to give up control of the city's schools.

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