Imagining Learning is an intergenerational community of people seeking to introduce a spirit of transformation into education through the wisdom and voices of young people.
We believe there is an innate wisdom young people possess, that combined with their creativity and passion for changing their education, makes them a powerful resource in the search for new answers. Imagining Learning is the only organization working to create a national collective voice on the wisdom of young people about how they would transform education.
To do this, we are leading Listening Sessions around the United States with teens, ages 13 – 19, from all walks of life. A Listening Session has been designed to be appreciative in nature and creates a space that is safe, free from judgment and empty of anyone else’s voices, except those young people who are participating. They encourage students to tap into their inner knowing – into a voice that has been there all along – and emerge a new set of ideas and beliefs about what could be achieved if given a blank slate from which to hold all young people in the future.
The final vision that emerges from each group of four students is in the form of a 4 1/2’ X 6’ painting. Each painting contains a story, a collective vision if you will, of how each particular group of students see possibilities for learning in the future. They then share their vision with other students who have been creating their own visions and with those of us fortunate enough to attend.
Currently, we have led 23 Listening Sessions in the west and the south. As each Listening Session concludes, we are synthesizing the stories and themes that emerged from the paintings with those from other Listening Session visions. When the last of the 47 has been concluded, we will have the key emergent themes that we can present as the Collective Voice to the nation.
Collective Voice: A National Exhibition/Conference
In an unprecedented collection of paintings, film, and research, we will hold a national exhibition and education conference in 2015 entitled Collective Voice: The Wisdom of Young People on Education. This will announce what the collective voice of young people around the country envisions for education in the future. We will invite all of the Listening Session participants to come to Washington to stand with us to present the information to policy makers, educators, administrators as well as others involved in changing education.