Practice: Imaginations to Create Novel Ideas and Solutions


Inventors use imagination to challenge the status quo and envision new possibilities.

The most important word is ‘yet.’

Eliana, age 4

Children use their imagination to envision new possibilities when adults…

  • deliberately invite children to dream, imagine, and create metaphors or mental images
  • are intentional about the use of story and give children ample time to create and rewrite their own stories
  • expect children to use materials to make connections and to develop and express their thinking in different ways
  • explicitly teach children critical thinking strategies and regularly challenge them to shift perspective

Teachers envision new possibilities and model change-making when they…

  • imagine “going big” to share children’s ideas beyond the classroom
  • intentionally connect personal, local, and global issues through a practice of teacher-research
  • actively seek resources that connect to children’s questions and theories
  • consider the impact of children’s work in the classroom on the society at large