Imagination and Education

From my article ‘School Deform How Common Core Promotes Cultural Engineering by Killing the Imagination

To cultivate learning without cultivating the imagination is to create automatons, for it is through the imagination that we are able to make connections, to form associations, to conceptualize long-term consequences, and to see the infrastructures of meaning beneath the surface of things. The poetry of life, and the sense of wonder that keeps the imagination vivid, fresh, and restless, is anathema to prosaic utopians who aim to convince citizens that there is nothing beyond this life to live for. That is why the capacity to imagine has been the enemy of totalitarian regimes throughout history. In order for collectivist and totalitarian regimes to work, the first books to go must be those that have no obvious functional value in a work-based economy but that feed one’s imagination and sense of wonder.

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