Why Is Imagination Important to Education?
Many educationalists have addressed various of the topics I will raise below, and there is a rich and valuable literature about imagination in education. It is, however, much smaller in scale than the amount of writing and research on logico-mathematical forms of thinking, and also it is difficult to find any significant body of educational research that addresses imaginative thinking. But while this literature and some research exists, I do not intend this chapter to be in any sense a review of it. This is not at all intended to depreciate the literature and research which addresses imagination, but is due simply to my relatively narrow aim of carrying forward the conception of imagination developed above into education. So much of the current literature assumes, and uses, more vague and general concepts that building from that literature explicitly — rather than implicitly, as I certainly do — would involve a kind of philosophical qualification of meanings such that the simpler purpose of the chapter might get buried. So I will try to point briefly to a range of reasons why imagination is important to education, well aware that I will be frequently covering well-trodden ground. My aim is hardly originality, but just an extension of the previous discussion into educational issues.