Monday, November 14, 2011

Imagination in Higher Education

What if undergraduate education could be engaging, exciting, and even...wait for it...FUN?

"Imagine the Possibilities" is the new theme of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Utah. As part of this initiative, Eric Liu, co-author of Imagination First, will be visiting the campus this month to provide a talk entitled "Imagination in Higher Education in the 21st Century". According to Liu, imagination is a skill that can be developed.

It seems to me that this is a skill that could be put to good use in our classrooms. How do we hope to foster innovation in our students, the leaders of tomorrow, if we are not imaginative in the way we teach? We do have many excellent instructors here on campus who use innovative approaches to teaching (for just one example, consider the Honor College's latest recipient of the Distinguished Honors Professor Award, Matthew Bradley) - but what if every classroom at the U was a model of the best applications of imagination to education? What if every classroom was engaging and exciting? What if every instructor was able to motivate students to learn? Perhaps taking a moment now and again to "Imagine the Possibilities" may be the first step towards these goals.

There are many reasons to transform the undergraduate experience, and all of them require that we re-think the way we typically do things. Take a few moments and Imagine the Possibilities with us. Eric Liu's talk will be held in the UMFA Dumke Auditorium on November 30, 2011 beginning at 5:30 pm.

University of Utah's FYI recently published an interview with Eric Liu. You can read blogs written by Eric Liu and colleagues on their website: Imagination Now.

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