Kieran Egan: How Children's Mind Develop

Topics: Cognition, Psychology, Imagination Pages: 3 (924 words) Published: September 15, 2013
How do children’s minds develop? Is it through socialising, accumulating privileged knowledge (discovering ‘truth’ - not being told it), psychological development, cognitive tool acquisition? These were the theoretical foundations (dilemmas?) of Kieran’s informative but also very entertaining talk about Imaginative Education (IE) - a new approach to education that effectively engages students’ emotions, imaginations and intellects in learning. IE is based on 5 distinctive kinds of understanding, the first three of which he elaborated on: - somatic understanding (pre-linguistic) – experiencing the surroundings through our bodily senses, emotions (as fundamental organizers of cognition), humour, musicality, gestures and communication - mythic understanding – understanding experience through oral narratives (human minds respond well to the story shape of narratives, metaphor lying ‘at the heart of human inventiveness, creativity and imagination’)  - romantic understanding – understanding experience through written language (human minds are always fascinated by the extraordinary, rare, strange, mysterious) - philosophic understanding 

- ironic understanding
All knowledge is human knowledge and if we strip it of all the emotions passions, hopes, etc. which were involved in its creation, it is bound to become dry and meaningless. This realisation seems to have serious implications for materials development and teaching in general. "All knowledge is human knowledge; it grows out of human hopes,  fears, and passions.   Imaginative engagement with knowledge comes from learning in the context of the hopes, fears, and passions from which it has  grown or in which it finds a living meaning."

These notes below are from the interview, please note some ideas are quoted verbatim.

**Egan claims education is made up of three ideas that ultimately do not fit or work well together, the three ideas are: 1. School's purpose id to socialize children to the world we live in 2....
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