CIRCE [pronounced sur-see] is dedicated to investigating and showcasing the multifaceted ways in which imagination shapes our communities, workplaces and schools.

Why Imagination?

Imagination is central to human culture. Without it, no culture would look the way it does today, and no learner would be able to participate in and contribute to that culture. Nor would cultures change and evolve the way they do, in response to our ideas and our ideals, our ethical insights and technological innovations, were it not for imagination. And yet this essential human capacity is extraordinarily neglected in educational thinking, practice and research. This is what CIRCE seeks to change.

There is no single theory of imagination that encompasses all of its dimensions. CIRCE is hospitable to a range of ideas and approaches, especially those that foster new dialogues and collaborations across disciplinary or cultural boundaries. A central role in CIRCE’s founding was played by Kieran Egan’s theory of educational development, which draws connections between historical processes of cultural change and the shifting patterns of children’s understanding and interests as they grow towards becoming full members of contemporary societies. Egan argues persuasively for the value of teachers incorporating such insights into classroom pedagogy. Such links between cultural theory, educational theory, and teaching practice remain of central interest in our work. (Read more about the History of CIRCE).

At CIRCE we believe that imagination is as important for learning in the sciences as it is in the arts. We believe that the imaginative engagement of students is as important at the post-secondary level as it is in primary classrooms, and as central to adult and community education as it is to online learning. We share Maxine Greene’s conviction that imaginative development is crucial to the building of societies characterized by empathy and solidarity, societies genuinely inclusive of people from different backgrounds, of different abilities, and with different ways of seeing the world. And we also see imagination as deeply interwoven in the relationships between human beings and the rest of the living world.

These are issues of vital importance in the 21stcentury. We welcome collaboration and partnerships with researchers and educators around the globe who share these interests and are committed to expanding our understanding of imagination in research, culture and education, both practical and theoretical. Welcome to CIRCE!

What We Do

CIRCE

  • connects people who value imagination/creativity/innovation (within Simon Fraser University (SFU) and beyond (physically and virtually);
  • organizes seminars for Faculty/inter-faculty professional development on imagination in research, culture, and education;
  • employs a range of online resources in order to enable international professional community development and sharing of work on imagination;
  • teaches about the theory and practice of Imaginative Education;
  • develops resources for the implementation of Imaginative Education worldwide;
  • shares examples of  imaginative/engaging teaching practices in all subject areas;
  • shares examples of innovative/imaginative work/design/processes across disciplines and cultural contexts;
  • partners with educational entities (schools/districts/teachers) another organizations/people working in the fields of imagination, innovation, and creativity and interested in developing their imaginative practices;
  • shares research that investigates imagination in all capacities;
  • collaborates on educational research related to innovation/engagement/ imagination/ creativity in context of culture and education;
  • designs interdisciplinary and inter-institutional educational programs that exemplify/teach about innovative, imaginative, engaging pedagogical practices.

Meet Our Team:  The Steering Committee, Board of Advisors, and Academic Council.