Our Collective Imagination


On one cloudy Tuesday afternoon, six teachers skipped lunch, and instead had some thought for food.  Using Sonya terBorg’s Imagine a School as our prompt, we shared our musings on the future of school.

That's Us!
That’s Us!


Teachers are futurists. They have no choice not to be, the future is the client of today’s teacher.

What if once a month, or at least once a year, you and your colleagues got together to share your vision for the future of education?

Would we understand one another better?

Would we better appreciate the values of our colleagues?

Would we create a shift in our school’s culture?

Richard Harlos Shift.
Richard Harlos


The future is built on a foundation of ‘what if’s.’ 

There is power in predicting.  There is power in collectively articulating our hopes and dreams for tomorrow’s learning environment.

The responsibility to be future-ready as a society starts with educators who want to instill future-ready skills in their students by modeling them themselves…today.

I’m reading an excellent book on the mode of thinking necessary to design better learning experiences: Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation
by Tim Brown

“There is an important lesson here about the challenges of shifting from a culture of hierarchy and efficiency to one of risk taking and exploration. Those who navigate this transition successfully are likely to become more deeply engaged, more highly motivated, and more wildly productive than they have ever been before.”

Magical movements in education are brought to life in the space between reflection and conversation. 

Too frequently we wait for conversations to be started by others when the reality is we are the conversation starters.  In the words of Walter White…be the one who knocks.

John blogged about that very notion in his post here:

Stop waiting. Just do something. Try a new activity. Ask a colleague to help you with a new site. Get feedback from students on their favorite learning experiences, and model a new assessment around their feedback.

Victoria blogged about a key question for all schools here:

Is the curriculum I teach now going to make our society stronger?

Valerie’s bloggings imagined a whole new kind of school experience here:

…where kids don’t have to learn the quadratic formula.

…where kids teach and inspire each other.

…which prepares kids and teachers for the real-world.

Cate focused on the role that trust must play in schools, see her full post here

I guess it is about trust. Do we trust pupils to do what is right for them? Do we trust ourselves to sit back and allow them to experiement or fail?

Phil unpacks the significance of expectations in his post here:

…being brave enough to fail is so important – it gives us permission to hold exceptional expectations.

And I thought about moving from measuring to more mentoring in my post here.

What mini thought-experiment can you conduct this week?

Thank you Flickr for your amazing Creative Commons Images!

Richard Harlos



Published by TriciaGpers

I blog about all things Global Perspectives!

6 replies on “Our Collective Imagination”

  1. Tricia, I’m feeling so inspired and grateful after today’s session. It’s fueled several conversations already today and I can’t wait to see what comes next. All I see are possibilities.

    I feel like a brand new teacher all over again. I still remember the excitement and pride I felt that first year, even though I realized later how much I still have to learn. As we embrace our inner amateurs and hopefully inspire new amateurs to join in this journey, we can only create enthusiasm for our craft and for the future.

    Thank you, thank you. Yes, we need more such opportunities to imagine. Perhaps we’ll find one more while you are here at ISZL. If not, we’ll have to create future opportunities for virtual campfire chats.

  2. Hi Valerie,
    Thank you for you comment. Teachers who write together, learn together. I loved seeing the different slants each of us took to the reading.
    It was also powerful to acknowledge, that so often we ask our students to produce a reflective piece under time constraints, and to experience that for ourselves was a nice perspective to unpack.
    I look forward to seeing where your future bloggings take you!

  3. Exciting, true and inspiring thoughts. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and vision with the rest of us. It’s amazing what can be accomplished with just a little time to collaborate!

  4. Sue,
    Thank you so much for leaving a comment. The time to ponder collectively is so valuable, and the conversations keep pivoting, which is great for teachers this time of year.
    Many thanks!

  5. Some very inspiring thoughts here, I do believe an IB based ISZL curriculum will make society stronger. Risk taking and being willing to fail are key attitudes for our students and our teachers to adopt. I also think many of the posts speak to our focus on conceptual understandings not content and learning skills not facts. An inspiring discussion.

  6. Hi Jacob,
    Thank you so much for dropping by and reading. We always have much to learn by ‘curating discussions.’
    Kind Regards,

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