All of CIRCE’s Imaginative Education (IE) Mentors have completed a Master’s of Education degree (MEd) in Imaginative Education, a program that focuses on understanding the development of imagination in learners and that teaches how to grow engaged minds through imaginative curriculum practices.  To qualify as CIRCE mentors, these imaginative educators have also engaged in a two-year process of Supporting, Sharing and Learning.

In supporting, each mentor helped introduce individual teachers to the IE approach; in sharing each mentor brought their IE knowledge to larger audiences through presentations, workshops, publications, podcasts etc.; finally, through learning each mentor dedicated time to expanding and deepening their understanding of imagination and education.

We are pleased to introduce our recent mentorship program graduates: The Class of 2019.  Learn more about each mentor and how IE enriches their professional lives below.

Class of 2019: CIRCE Mentors

Kavita Hoonjan

Kavita Hoonjan

Elementary IE French Immersion Teacher, member of Langley School District
David Futter

David Futter

Middle School IE Teacher (Gr. 6-8), experience with LiD, IEE and Whole School Projects
Leone Payson

Leone Payson

IE Elementary School Teacher focusing on how IE and identity help develop students as writers
Lindsay Zebrowski

Lindsay Zebrowski

Primary IE Teacher in Burnaby, completed MEd in 2014
Jocelyn Mcintosh

Jocelyn Mcintosh

IE Elementary School Teacher using the LiD (Learning in Depth) program
Carolina López Larios

Carolina López Larios

Lecturer in pedagogy and education, mentoring preservice teacher education students learning and practicing IE
Amanda Van Garderen

Amanda Van Garderen

Primary IE teacher, research focused on the role of oral language in literacy
Courtney Robertson

Courtney Robertson

Vice-Principal with the Langley School District, Early Learning IE Teacher (©Photo by Daniel Sicolo Photography)
Ashleigh Albach

Ashleigh Albach

Middle School IE Teacher in the Victoria School District, focusing on student engagement in the assessment process
Wendy Johnston

Wendy Johnston

Secondary English/Humanities IE teacher and mentor

Testimonials: The Power of Imaginative Education

I am dedicated to creating authentic and engaging teaching and learning environments which promote the long-term and meaningful acquisition of language, knowledge and skills. As an active member of CIRCE, I aspire to continue engaging in dialogue and practice which is innovative, imaginative and authentic. In the scope of teacher education, I seek to explore creative and emotionally engaging means by which to promote ongoing professional development for and with the teacher education community. ~Kavita Hoonjan

Imaginative Education transformed my perspective on learning and the purpose of education. It helped me transverse the problems and issues in current schooling to get down to a process eminently more satisfying for my students and professional self. IE is an important education theory that has a huge impact for transforming teaching and learning. It has the ability to empower teachers, students and administrators in more meaningful schooling by harnessing emotional engagement, imagination, cognitive tools and culturally created knowledge. The different programs offer ways into the theory and pedagogy to engulf students and teachers in powerful learning.  ~David Futter

Cognitive tools give children the capacity they need to grow into imaginative adults. Children are more trusting of their imagination than adults are. They play with it more, they tangle with it and throw it around; this is a trait unique to children. IE provides the foundation for our students to learn how to grow up keeping this trust and hopefully realizing the potential that imagination holds for them. ~Leone Payson

In pursuing my MEd, I discovered that Imaginative Education informed the “how” and “why” of the ways my favourite lessons and units resonated with me and my students. Imaginative Education provided a foundation to develop more of my teaching to be engaging and meaningful while letting go of some practices that were merely habitual. ~Lindsay Zebrowski

Teaching using an Imaginative Education lens engages students and motivates them to become life-long learners. I have seen so many amazing LiD projects from Grade 1 students that prove this! ~Jocelyn Mcintosh

With Imaginative Education, I’ve learned how to constantly challenge, expand and grow the limits of my own imagination so it can truly be a means for the challenging expansion and growth of my students’ imaginations. ~Carolina López Larios

I am honoured to guide new professionals into their full capacity as teachers and helping to establish a deeper understanding and appreciation for their role as Imaginative Educators. Even the mundane is filled with wonder when we take the time to engage our imaginations and ponder the possibilities. ~Amanda Van Garderen

We are in an exciting time in education, in that people are striving for ways to engage and connect with learners, rather than teach content in blocks of time. Imaginative Education provides the bridge between the importance of knowing things, with the importance of engaging emotionally and meaningfully to subject matter. In Imaginative Education we use the story form to emotionally engage learners to subject matter. This is an important distinction of the power of IE. Students need to KNOW things. They need to LEARN things. But how we deliver this is the power of IE. When our emotions are engaged, when we engage students in the wonder of subject matter, we are able to stretch our minds–that is, we are able to think imaginatively, about things. How will YOU weave a story today for your learners? ~Courtney Robertson

Imaginative Education is not simply about teaching kids the curriculum and hoping they learn it. Instead, it provides the opportunity to captivate students’ sense of wonder and possibility, and engage their imaginations, to make learning interesting, memorable, and meaningful.  It is our job as educators to spark wonder and interest in every topic, and to demonstrate for our students just how amazing new discoveries can be! The ability to stretch our minds, to question, and to ponder what could be, this is the power of IE. ~Ashleigh Albach

The cognitive tools of Imaginative Education give students the ability to both critically and creatively think about any subject. Narrative engages us in our world of wonder – once you use it in the classroom, you have engaged students in a way that allows them to think and apply their learning. In the words of Dumbledore: “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.” ~Wendy Johnston