Developed in the United Kingdom, Imaginative Inquiry is a pedagogy based on the idea that children's imagination is our greatest resource in the classroom. Within a community of inquiry, teachers and students create exciting and meaningful contexts for learning, using conventions of theatre such as point of view, tension, and narrative, to explore curricular objectives. Students are not merely passive observers of the stories of our world, but are collectively invited to take action in the realm of possibility that Imaginative Inquiry provides. This eSeminar will explore the pedagogical underpinnings of Imaginative Inquiry, provide examples of its use in elementary school classrooms, and discuss how Imaginative Inquiry can be a powerful tool for the teaching of social studies and social justice.
Elaine Chu has fifteen years' experience teaching in independent and public elementary schools in New York City. Currently on leave from her position as a Third Grade Teacher at the Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School, Elaine offers professional development to teachers and administrators on developing social studies curricula using an Imaginative Inquiry approach. She has worked in the field of education throughout her professional career, designing curricula and professional development programs for schools and museums, and has worked internationally to help create educational infrastructure in developing countries. She is an alumna of Tufts University and Bank Street College.