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LEARNING WITH IMAGINATION

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Title: LEARNING WITH IMAGINATION


1
LEARNING WITH IMAGINATION
  • Enquiry, Communities, and Power
  • in the Mantle of the Expert System

2
Dr. Brian Edmiston
  • Professor of Teaching and Learning
  • Ohio State University
  • edmiston.1_at_osu.edu

3
  • What children ask for is an experience of
    school that is engaging and meaningful, that
    supports the learning the children need for their
    adult lives in a manner that also acknowledges
    their priorities as children. (150)
  • Devine, Dympha. (2003). Children, power and
    schooling How childhood is structured in the
    primary school. Trentham Books

4
  • the knowledge that our students really want,
    and that is the knowledge we owe them is not
    merely the facts, not merely the theories, but a
    deep knowing of what it means to kindle the gift
    of life in ourselves, in others, and in the
    world
  • Parker Palmer (1998) p. x

5
Deep learning about life
  • you learn from people
  • you can think quite a lot when youre actually
    having fun at the same time
  • you have to keep up with things that you dont
    want to do
  • when your imagination runs wild you can
    design ideas
  • you can think of ways to make life better and
    ways that would make it worse

6
and about using the mantle of the expert system
  • you think like an adult and how their life is
  • you can feel what its like to work
  • learn things you didnt know before
  • it makes your mind unwind
  • you get to know things you would like to learn
    and things you wouldnt like to learn

7
3 BIG IDEAS
  • Deep knowledge of life comes from ENQUIRY
  • Enquiry happens in relationships between people
    in different COMMUNITIES
  • The type of community people create depends on
    how they POSITION each other and share POWER

8
People create deep knowledge of life through
ENQUIRYe.g. in a hobby
  • People choose to engage
  • in collaborative social practices
  • through which they explore questions of interest
    to them
  • make meaning and over time acquire the expertise
    (knowledge, skills, understanding) they need
  • to become more competent
  • and (ideally) ethically responsible human beings
  • In doing so they join and create communities of
    enquiry

9
  • Enquiry can take people beyond their current
    understanding of the world through collaborative
    explorations of the lives we want to live and the
    people we want to be
  • Jerome Harste (2001) p. 1

10
  • Leaving pupils learning a deep knowledge of life
    (along with related facts and theories) to
    everyday life means leaving learning to chance
  • We can use the mantle of the expert system to
    create opportunities for learning by design

11
An example
  • Living with Wolves
  • Y2 (Grade 1 in the U.S.)
  • Imaginative Enquiry (or Dramatic Enquiry)
  • in the Mantle of the Expert system

12
Learning by design through enquiry in imagined
communities
  • The pupils gradually take on ethical
    responsibility for running an enterprise in an
    imagined community
  • The pupils care enough about the long-term goals
    of a fictional client that they choose to engage
    in collaborative social practices and explore
    questions
  • In doing so the pupils (and adults) begin to
    imagine the world of a professional community and
    over time acquire expertise

13
however
  • children and adults are still interacting in
    the everyday classroom communities

14
EVERYDAY CLASSROOM COMMUNITIES
IMAGINED COMMUNITIES
15
  • The imagined expert communities become more
    complex and extensive over time

16
EVERYDAY CLASSROOM COMMUNITIES
IMAGINED COMMUNITIES
17
EVERYDAY CLASSROOM COMMUNITIES
IMAGINED COMMUNITIES
18
Adults (and childrens) use of POWER
  • is not necessarily controlling, domineering, or
    oppressive
  • (though it can be)
  • People use power, in relation to other people

19
People in classrooms have more or less power in
relation to each other
  • In your classroom, how are you (and children)
    able to use power?
  • the power to move (physical power)
  • the power to interact (social power)
  • the power to interpret and evaluate (power of
    ideas)
  • Which adults and children tend to have the
    most/least power?

20
  • Physical power -- the power to move
  • Social power -- the power to interact

21
  • The power of ideas -- the power to
    interpret/evaluate

22
When you begin to use the mantle of the expert
system
  • As children begin to use power differently to
    move, to interact, to interpret/evaluate
  • How do you respond?
  • You (and other adults) can also use power
    differently to move, to interact, to
    interpret/evaluate
  • What are you comfortable trying?

23
children must be able to use power
  • Children must be able to use power
  • (to move, to interact, and to interpret/evaluate)
  • in order to make meaning and acquire expertise

24
  • Using power to make meaning and acquire expertise

25
Power circulates, accumulates, and disperses
  • Power circulates among everyone in a group in
    relation to everyone else
  • Some people always have more power than others

26
  • Some people become dominant (sometimes
    domineering) and others can become excluded

27
Children (and adults) use, give, take (and
resist) POWER by how they POSITION other people
  • Power over others
  • Power for others
  • Power with others

28
How power is used over time creates different
types of COMMUNITIES
  • Power over others
  • authoritative communities like factories,
    prisons, military, etc.
  • Power for others
  • nurturing communities like families, hospices,
    animal care facilities etc.
  • Power with others
  • collaborative communities like explorative
    laboratories, choirs, creative groups,
    investigative teams etc.

29
What sort of community do you want in the
classroom?
  • more authoritative -- like a factory?
  • more nurturing -- like a family?
  • more collaborative -- like an explorative team?

30
Whose classroom is it?
  • Is it
  • my classroom?
  • their classroom?
  • our classroom?

31
As adults
  • how we use our power (and react to how children
    use their power) creates different types of
    community

32
  • The mantle of the expert system provides us with
    opportunities to use power differently than
    people usually do in the classroom

33
Everyone uses power differently in different
situations with different people
  • People shift back and forth among
  • using power with
  • or for
  • or over other people

34
Which uses of power are more dominant in
classroom practices?
  • The dominant uses of power create an overall
    classroom tone
  • Creating a tone of cooperation, collaboration,
    attentive listening, sharing ideas, negotiation,
    making meaning together i.e. sharing power with
    others as colleagues is at the heart of good
    teaching

35
  • and is essential in successfully using the
    mantle of the expert system

36
  • Overall we share power with children and help
    children share power with one another
  • I can do this as me or by positioning children
    as if I am someone else, like a colleague in an
    animal care enterprise ,or as a Park Ranger, a
    Bank Manager, or even a wolf

37
This doesnt mean we dont use power over
children, or for them
  • Ideally uses of power over children, and using
    power for them, are nested within using power
    with them

38
Power with others
Power for others
Power over others
Nesting power relationships in a COMMUNITY of
ENQUIRY
39
  • We can shift back and forth between handing over
    more power and holding on to or taking back more
    power

40
  • Handing over
  • more power
  • Taking back
  • more power

41
Hand over more power
Power with others
Power for others
Take more power
Power over others
Adult sharing power with children to create
liberating constraints
42
Using power with others
  • Children (and/or adults) position one another
    with broadly equal power
  • Colleagues share knowledge and abilities
  • invite cooperation
  • collaborate in activities
  • In order to negotiate meaning

43
Using power with others
  • Use the language of we
  • and make decisions together
  • including important life decisions
  • How would we be able to ?
  • We were wondering why
  • How might we ?

44
EVERYDAY CLASSROOM COMMUNITIES Has anyone not
had a chance to speak?
IMAGINED COMMUNITIES How will we be able to work
together to capture the wolves without hurting
them? Does the Ranger have any ideas?
USING POWER WITH OTHERS the language of WE
45
within which is nested
46
Using power for others
  • Children (and/or adults) position themselves
    (and/or are positioned by others) with less power
  • colleagues help one another and lend a hand
  • amplify ideas
  • bring ideas from the edge to the centre

47
Colleagues use power for others
  • Lending a hand
  • Bringing ideas from the edge to the centre

48
Using power for others
  • Use the language of you
  • and make decisions with attention to minority
    as well as majority views
  • What do you need right now?
  • Would you like to ?

49
EVERYDAY CLASSROOM COMMUNITIES Would you like me
to hold your drawing so everyone can see it?
IMAGINED COMMUNITIES Did you all hear what she
just said about using tranquilizer darts?
USING POWER FOR OTHERS the language of YOU
50
within which is nested
51
Using power over others
  • Children (and/or adults) position themselves
    (and/or are positioned by others) with more power
  • Some colleagues are servant leaders
  • but colleagues dont exclude others ideas

52
Colleagues use power over others
  • as servant leaders
  • but dont exclude

53
Using power over others
  • The language of I
  • I want to
  • I would like you to
  • I thought we had agreed to

54
EVERYDAY CLASSROOM COMMUNITIES I thought wed
agreed to decide together what wed do?
IMAGINED COMMUNITIES Wait a minute, Im worried
about how the wolves might feel if you use your
hypodermic needle like that!
USING POWER OVER OTHERS the language of I
55
Hand over more power
Power with others
Power for others
Take more power
Power over others
Adult sharing power with children to create
liberating constraints
56
  • the knowledge that our students really want,
    and that is the knowledge we owe them is not
    merely the facts, not merely the theories, but a
    deep knowing of what it means to kindle the gift
    of life in ourselves, in others, and in the
    world
  • Parker Palmer (1998) p. x
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