What rich and energising sessions last week

Anthony is an academic who doesn’t know and not knowing has sparked his imagination – and a poem. Special agents Francine and Marcia have been sent by a secret organisation of the future to ignite kids’ imaginations. And Morna is on a mission to convene an imagination dream team.

All this and more in the summary below. And a note on the dates of our coming gatherings – after a break in July and August.

Big thanks to Anthony, Francine, Marcia, Morna and all those who were able to join us last week. Please enjoy the session recordings in the notes below and share any and all reflections, questions, imagination and energy.

In kindness,


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Research spotlight: Sparking Imagination Education, Australia

Anthony McKnight doesn’t know. He’s written a poem about it.

For Anthony, an academic from the University of Wollongong in Australia, not knowing opens an avenue for him to know. It sparks imagination. And sparking imagination is something that Anthony is setting out to learn about.

Anthony is part of a group of researchers from four Australian universities who will be conducting research into imagination and how it can be brought into schools in Australia. 

They will be talking to school students, mentors, teachers, Aboriginal Elders and knowledge holders, policy and curriculum developers and educational bodies about how they see imagination, how its being used, how it might be used, how it can be brought into classrooms and become embedded in schools across Australia. 

In this recording of last week’s Imagination Circle, Anthony gives us an overview of the Sparking Imagination Education research project. He shares some insights into the many relationships and storylines that contribute to who he is. He wonders about the role of spirituality in imagination, and education, and he reads us his poem entitled ‘I don’t know’.  

Pedagogy spotlight: Learning Adventures with Platô Cultural, Brazil & Scotland

S.O.S. Agent 1: “It was Tuesday, and out of the blue a portal arrived, and a bookshelf with a letter from Massami. She invited us to help the planet and open a portal. The next Tuesday we met the S.O.S. Agent Teachers…

S.O.S. Agent 1: “We were there, studying in the classroom. Out of the blue some ladies entered the classroom with a bookshelf and they said it was a portal. Then, we received a letter…

“What if S.O.S., a secret organisation from the future, found a way to communicate with our time? What if they invited children to embark on an (im)possible mission to help save our planet? Time travelling bookshelves appear in primary school classrooms around the world. They are filled with still-to-be-written books that open up the communication channel between our time and the future…” 

What happens next? 

Meet Francine Kliemann and Marcia Donadel, special agents on a mission to ignite kids’ imaginations through “learning adventures”.  Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is in this recording.

Opportunity: Convening the Dream Team of re-imagining schools

“There is this human desire for imaginative work that never goes out,” says Morna.

“When I got to know everybody else in the Imagination Circle and heard about the work that they were doing, I thought we’re all doing slightly different variations on the same theme on an international level.

I think the European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (from 10 to 12 January in Helsinki) would be the perfect place to convene our respective works and really read them together.

One of the ways we can get involved is as a dream team — a group of collaborators like ourselves who are doing boots-on-the-ground transformative work. Over the course of three days, we would have an open space and invite people to come and participate with us in the kind of work that we’re trying to do.

The proposals are due in September. We’re going to use July and August in some planning sessions, and then I’ll put it all together in writing and submit with all of our names attached to it.”

Find out more here and contact Morna at [email protected] to join the Imagination Circle Dream Team proposal.

Save the dates: Imagination Circle sessions in September, October and November

We’re taking a break from our monthly gatherings in July and August and will be back in September. 

Wednesday 13 September

Wednesday 11 October 

Wednesday 8 November

As a reminder: what is the Action Group?

The action group brings together people exploring and testing imagination programmes, workshops and curriculums inside formal and informal education systems.

Its goal over the next 10 years is to showcase imagination practice in the transformation of education, understand the impact of imagination in classrooms, and build a global knowledge base of imagination in pedagogy.