As we go through the months and years, we find trends and patterns through our conversations. One recent trend is curiosity. This week’s conversation was no exception but with a sprinkling of imagination to boot.
It was wonderful to spend time with @martinceviche. His background and career speaks for itself, but his latest role as CEO for the Institute of Imagination, and before that leading Disney across the EMEA region, are pretty epic. The shackles of education are so rigid in terms of delivery, which do not really lend themselves to allow our young people time and space to use their imagination.
So, how can we create space like they do in the early years sector? Here are a couple of thoughts:
Imagination is not a subject
Imagination is not a subject you can teach. We have to give space and freedom for children (and adults) to explore and learn, where we guide them through. This is something which is done really well in the early years sector, but one which is lost as we go into a more structured learning focus as the children grow older.
We need to allow them to think differently, do things differently and be celebrated for it, not pigeon-holed into a box.
Imagination is not stand alone
We have to remember that this is not a stand alone subject or one which is only attributed to those ‘creative’ subjects but is a facet which should be embedded in every aspect of learning whether that be in a physical building or the learning outside of the classroom and school.
One thing which stood out as part of this and the biggest thought as I let my mind wander and imagine during the discussion was related to a wonderful movie ‘Hook’, based on the Peter Pan stories. During one scene, Peter (played by Robin Williams), had lost his memory of ever being Peter Pan and had grown up. He sat there surrounded by the lost boys who were eating, well, empty bowls of nothing but enjoying it. He looks over to one of the lost boys or maybe to Tinkerbell and says, “how am I meant to be enjoying my food; there is nothing there!” And the response to Peter is: “Use your imagination”.
Now, we are not saying it has to be like this, but what we are saying is that allowing these freedoms to ‘imagine the unimaginable’ (a quote often attributed to Walt Disney himself), then the people we develop in our education system can flourish well behind just knowing things, and doing what everyone has done before them.
The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create.
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