(Photo credits: Amaze Design; Minnetrista)
Education In Museums & Other Cultural Environments
For educators in cultural environments—museums, performing or visual arts—there is nothing more central to their work than the imagination. For instance, in museums we are always asking visitors “what if?” they lived in another time or came from a different culture or could see the world with an artist’s eyes. Imaginative Education, the brilliant educational philosophy initially developed by Dr. Kieran Egan and elaborated through the work of the Imaginative Education Research Group (2001-2015), gives us a set of rich theories and useful strategies for making this remarkable human facility—to imagine—more intentional in our practice and more vividly part of the visitor’s experience.
Dr. Leslie Bedford is the former director of the Leadership in Museum Education Master’s program at Bank Street College of Education in New York City and a member of The Museum Group, a consortium of consultants to museums. She first learned about Imaginative Education while developing history exhibitions in the 1990’s and soon realized how relevant it could be engaging intergenerational museum audiences. She made IE part of the curriculum at Bank Street College and later a cornerstone of her doctoral research. Her dissertation was published as The Art of Museum Exhibitions: How Story and Imagination Create Aesthetic Experiences (Routledge, 2014).
Please join Leslie and others from around the world in exploring the power of the imagination (including but not limited to Imaginative Education) for programs and exhibitions in a range of cultural environments. Question, share and learn with other imagination advocates because, as one practitioner remarked at a museum panel on the topic, “The imagination is the only thing worth dying for!”
Want to connect with other imaginative educators working in museums and other cultural environments around the world? Leave us your contact information and tell us about your work and interests!
Special Projects & Research
Stay tuned for more information about the projects and practices of our participants.