Now here’s the puzzle: We can’t actually teach it.
‘Teaching’ imagination is like giving away the answers. It’s like spoon feeding. Students have to use and trust their own imagination in order to exercise it. It’s a path they have to take on their own. Sure, we can guide them through the process, but it’s their own skills that will serve them.
What we can do is give them ample opportunities to use their imaginations in settings that challenge their creativity. We can ask the right questions. We can give hints, but we have to stand back. This is a big part of the creative classroom.
The one super power I wanted growing up was the ability to shrink. That way, I could play with my toys as life size objects. Not being able to shrink didn’t stop me from coming up with fanciful stories about my toys and the characters therein. A little piece of me misses that guy.