The Imagination of Early Childhood Education

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The text does not characterize imagination, but uses it as a resource in the conduction of the research when questioning secondary students in respect to what they know about the economic crisis. The adoption of these common standards and the focus on external results lead to the conditioning of the student to automatic memorization of information and promotes uniformity of contents that do not consider the differences among students. This can be understood as an exercise of alterity that should be put into practice early in children education. The authors advocate the need for a curriculum that fosters narrative imagination in education helping students to become world citizens and to develop citizenship in the world.

Mcknight discusses gender issues and exposes the predominance of a male view in curricula. For the author, it is necessary that teachers study what is important to girls, and also that they imagine themselves feeling comfortable in this endeavor as teachers, as women and as feminists. Mcknight conducted an empirical study with female teachers who designed English curricula for a secondary school in Victoria, Australia. However, the author did not present a concept or characterization of imagination throughout the text.

Lou et al. The authors understand that imagination can be encouraged by educational environments that provide specific stimuli and help students to extract, disseminate and restructure mental images. On the other hand, Leask , when studying university curricula, asserts that imagination is an essential part of the internationalization process of curriculum in any discipline.

In other articles, imagination appeared combined with other terms, as in the case of Huang , who, while discussing the influence of neoliberalism in Taiwan's curriculum, used the term agents' social imagination; Wassermann applies the term intellectual imagination when presenting a research in which the participants - South African first-year history education students who are studying to become teachers - were asked to write down topics they imagined being part of the school history curriculum; Morgan , in dealing with New Zealand's geography curriculum, points to geographical imagination as a means of developing a coherent geographic notion of the country; Choo uses the term hospitable imagination to expose the need to foster hospitable ways of imagining the other, which resembles Nussbaum's idea of narrative imagination.

After analyzing the material, we identified some terms and conceptions related to imagination that we considered relevant to highlight. The first refers to the idea of imagination as a magical process, in which reside remnants of an understanding of imagination as something not real, that is, as something that has no support in reality. Such understanding is contrary to the sociocultural theory that we adopt, since we understand that any imaginative action is deeply grounded in reality and can only happen as a psychological process because the real world provides elements for it Vigotski, In one of the articles Yang, , we point out the cleavage between cognition and imagination with its designation as a non-cognitive process.

We refute the idea that imagination is not related to cognitive processes, because we understand that this construct is the basis of all psychological processes, which act as a system Vigotski, We understand psychological processes as intrinsically linked, because we perceive that human development occurs in the constant flow of processes such as memory, perception and imagination, with the active participation of emotion in all of them. With regard to cognition and emotion, we highlight that Fleer , in a research carried out with pre-school children, emphasizes that affective imagination assists in the understanding of scientific knowledge.

For the author, the child is on the border between the real world and the imaginary world.

The Early Years

The author also believes that the flickering between real situations and those arising from imaginative processes can help children to think in situated and imaginary ways that together support children's capacity of imagining scientific explanations. We consider the understanding of imagination as the basis for creativity to be highly relevant. Another understanding observed was the relation between imagination and freedom or free imagination.

Trotman , in a research conducted with adolescents, shows that, on the students perspective, imagination is only fostered in disciplines in which there is relative freedom to think. The term ecological imagination, despite appearing in one of the texts of this review Bertling, , does not appear as a delimited concept.

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This book informs students and scholars of early childhood education about the vital influences that imagination in preschool education has exerted upon the. This book informs students and scholars of early childhood education about the vital influences that imagination in preschool and early childhood education has .

In fact, the author uses this combination of terms to emphasize how imagination can play a role in environmental education. Briefly, imagination, due to its nature of expanding people's consciousness would pave the way for empathy, and such a deed would lead to greater attention to ecological issues. Another concept that appeared in the review was that of narrative imagination used by Kim and Wiehe-Beck This concept was, in fact, coined by Martha Nussbaum, a philosopher who works with issues related to citizenship and democracy. This would include the ability to interpret meanings through the use of imagination Von Wright, Following the principles of narrative imagination, if we wish to understand the other, we should not only read about the other or live with the other, but we must use imagination to transcend our egocentric position, especially when we meet new people in the course of life, and that means becoming a democratic citizen Nussbaum, ; Von Wright, The term collective imagination also appeared in the literature review.

Nurturing Creativity & Imagination for Child Development

It refers to imagination shared by a group and it can be observed when a group builds a story, a narrative, together. In order for the elements of the story to be coherent and comprehensible to all members of that community, it is necessary that meanings be collective.

Another prominent term, due to an expressive number of publications in the area of Sociology, is Sociological Imagination. This term was coined in , by Charles Wright Mills, American sociologist. The term has become a neologism and comprehends the ability that sociologists must develop to understand the reality in which they live, in a broad connection between individual and society. Concerning curricula, if we limit the understanding of curriculum as a written text, only a few studies have traced a direct relation between imagination and curriculum.

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However, if we understand the curriculum as a teaching practice, we realize that some articles emphasize the need for practices to provide means for developing students' imagination. In other articles, however, imagination received a secondary treatment being only mentioned in the body of the text. The reason for undertaking this review of foreign scientific literature was based on the need to observe how academic productions have addressed the topic, as well as to verify the potentialities in studying this theme and its gaps.


A literature review on imagination and curriculum seemed pertinent to open the field for discussion; however, the articles presented an incipient link between imagination and curriculum, showing that there is still a demand to discuss curricula that stimulate imagination in the educational context. In addition, we understand that the curriculum can be the vector of a new teaching practice that, when encompassing student learning, expands the human experience through imaginative processes. After carrying out this literature review, we conclude that there are still gaps in the field, especially when imagination appears linked to fantasy, detached from reality and averse to cognition.

However, we also perceive possibilities when research is revealed in which imagination is appreciated and treated in the way it deserves to be: as a place of expansion of human experience, as a space for development and as a "non-place" of unreality. Linking imagination and learning, supported by curricula that underline the importance of fostering imagination in schools and universities, seems to be a path yet to be followed, although some significant steps have already been taken.

Al-Abdali, N. Teaching for creativity by science teachers in grades International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education , 14 2 , Aprea, C. Journal of Social Science Education , 13 3 , Aminolroaya, S. Methods of nurturing creativity during preschool term: An integrative study.

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Educational Research and Reviews , 11 6 , Baker, D. Art integration and cognitive development.

The Early Years

The Perry Preschool Project, which was conducted in the s in Ypsilanti, Michigan , is the oldest social experiment in the field of early childhood education and has heavily influenced policy in the United States and across the globe. Economics of Education Review, 26, pp. As a child explores and observes, teachers ask the child probing questions. This helps improve their gross and fine motor skills. Because ECE is a relatively new field, there is little research and consensus into what makes a good program. They provide excellent learning programs and enrichment activities as well. The Art of Learning.

Journal for Learning Through the Arts , 9 1 , Ballantine, J. Does the center hold? Reflections on a sociological core. Teaching Sociology , 44 3 , Bertling, J. The art of empathy: A mixed methods case study of a critical placed-based art education program. Bland, D. International Journal of Educational Research , 56 , Carter, D. Ars poetica, romanticism and english education: Poetics inheritances in the senior secondary english curriculum in New South Wales, Australia.

English Teaching: Practice and Critique , 12 1 , Choudhary, S. A literary approach to teaching English language in a multicultural classroom. Higher Learning Research Communications , 6 4. Ciabattari, T. Teaching Sociology , 41 1 , Choo, S. Cultivating hospitable imagination: Re-envisioning the world literature curriculum through a cosmopolitan lens. Curriculum Inquiry , 44 1 , Cohan, J. Our wheels project: Finding the extraordinary within the ordinary. Cowan, J. Our wheels Project: Finding the extraordinary within the ordinary. Cruz, M. Nogueira Eds.

Campinas, SP: Mercado das letras. Dietiker, L. Mathematical story: A metaphor for mathematics curriculum. Educational Studies in Mathematics , 90 3 , Edgan, K. Cabral Eds.

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Campinas, SP: Papirus. Fels, L.

Fleer, M. Affective imagination in science education: Determining the emotional nature of scientific and technological learning of young children.