Revitalizing the Imagination Game in Older Learners
It is universally believed that children occupy the biggest worlds of imagination and not the adults as they are too much consumed with the practicalities and ironies of life. However, the reality is otherwise. Imagination is uncontainable regardless of the age, occupation, demographics, social class, etc., and when we talk about college and university level students, we should realize that imagination and learning at that stage runs hand-in-hand.
Apparently, learning allows us to dream more and imagine what we seek to understand next. Speaking from the educational context, when teaching with imagination becomes the prime focus in the classroom, wonders are bound to happen.
As we proceed in our degree program, the learning tends to become more serious. Instead of allowing ourselves to continue imagining things as we used to do when we were kids, we restrict ourselves and focus more on mastering the subject material. This is why we need to understand the importance of imagination.
Why imagination in older students matter?
As stated above, children imagine more than adults as they have more clear minds than us. Further, it’s not something that is understood and acknowledged at college and university level, unless we talk about creative classrooms and self-regulated learners. According to a 2007 study conducted on prospective educators, around 68% of them stated that they believed students should focus more on learning and selecting the right answer instead of running their creativity.
Although we do realize that imagination is one of the essentials of critical and independent thinking skills, which makes you a genuine learner and builds the ability to succeed in highly tedious and challenging degree programs, it’s time we claim it back. So how do we revitalize the imagination in older learners in the classroom?
Ways to develop imagination in older students
- Provide students more control
Experts in the education industry have stated that allowing students the freedom of their own learning stimulates curiosity. Whey they feel in control, they’ll open the flow of their creative juices more than ever.
- Help them track their searches
Even while using the internet, students have a vast playground to think and act. While it is the job of the teacher to not only help them locate what they came for but also “how”. Further, educate them on searching about related topics, in other words, when searching for a particular topic, what substitute topic they did eventually navigate on for reading.
- Express collaborative stories
Collaborative stories are highly beneficial ingredients for the development of focus enhancement and critical thinking exercises. Students can always consult quality online resources and extract imaginative activities for both in- and out-of-the-class work. Collaborative stories also hone your active listening, negotiation, and language skills.
- Use “improv”
Improv, also termed as improvisational theatre, in a popular form of theatre, where most or all of the acts and performances are unplanned and unscripted. Performers create and deliver scenes and dialogues right on the spot with no prior preparations. In its genuine form, improv is nothing about right or wrong answers or mediocre performances, but it is essentially meant to tempt the students to think in a spontaneous and imaginative manner. This approach is particularly beneficial in courses that are more conversational and debatable in nature.
- Provide real-life experiences
Obviously, most of the time spent in any session revolves around the lecture on the subject material, but teachers should think about expressing more every now and then. You can share your personal stories and industry experiences with students in order to ease them into believing that besides all the rigorous and strict teaching style and lectures, you’re a human after all. The point is to encourage them to imagine more and accept there is more to learning beyond the classroom walls too.
- Fabricate a “creative council” in the class
A council, an imaginary body in the classroom containing visionaries and specialists, will be created by the students who will use it to acquire answers to their problems and confusions. Students can then take on different roles in this creative council and find solutions of the questions highlighted by the teacher and subject matter.
Lara Hawkins is a professional educational psychologist with a number of national and international seminars and workshops to her name. Besides her regular research in improving the cognitive ability of students at college and university level, Lara also operates custom essay river, an accomplished academic service powerhouse catering a plethora of disciplines under his expertise.