Releasing the Imagination: Essays on Education, the Arts, and Social Change

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Wiley, Jul 13, 1995 - Education - 240 pages
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It is imagination, says Maxine Greene, that opens our eyes to worlds beyond our experience--enabling us to create, care for others, and envision social change. In Releasing the Imagination, this renowned educator and philosopher reveals the critical role of imagination in cognitive and other modes of learning.Ruminating on themes such as literacy, the arts and aesthetics, pluralism, multiculturalism, and the tensions and passions of caring, Greene carefully considers both the realities of hard economic times and the human requirement for expressiveness. She shows that, while today's economic realities require an inevitable emphasis on vocational and technical training, this focus must be counterbalanced by an emphasis on the release of the human imagination and the cultivation of new visions. Greene explains how the arts play a key role in building understanding across differences and in stimulating the capacity to break with the habitual and the taken-for-granted--counteracting the sometimes pervasive sense of futility that overwhelms many of our youth.From an account of school restructuring to a rendering of the shapes of literacy, Greene's essays examine the potential releases of imagination in a variety of contexts--in connection with the arts, and in connection with the community that, she hopes, "will some day be called democracy."

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Narrative in the Making
Creating Possibilities
Seeking Contexts

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About the author (1995)

MAXINE GREENE is professor of philosophy and education and William F. Russell Professor in the Foundations of Education (emeritus), Teachers College, Columbia University, where she is also founder of the Center for the Imagination. She teaches at the Lincoln Center for the Arts. A past president of AERA, AESA, and the Philosophy of Education Society, Greene's previous books include The Dialectic of Freedom (1988) and Landscapes of Learning (1978).

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