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

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This remarkable set of essays defines the role of imagination in general education, arts education, aesthetics, literature, and the social and multicultural context.... The author argues for schools to be restructured as places where students reach out for meanings and where the previously silenced or unheard may have a voice. She invites readers to develop processes to en This remarkable set of essays defines the role of imagination in general education, arts education, aesthetics, literature, and the social and multicultural context.... The author argues for schools to be restructured as places where students reach out for meanings and where the previously silenced or unheard may have a voice. She invites readers to develop processes to enhance and cultivate their own visions through the application of imagination and the arts. Releasing the Imagination should be required reading for all educators, particularly those in teacher education, and for general and academic readers. -- Choice Maxine Greene, with her customary eloquence, makes an impassioned argument for using the arts as a tool for opening minds and for breaking down the barriers to imagining the realities of worlds other than our own familiar cultures.... There is a strong rhythm to the thoughts, the arguments, and the entire sequence of essays presented here. -- American Journal of Education Releasing the Imagination gives us a vivid portrait of the possibilities of human experience and education's role in its realization. It is a welcome corrective to current pressures for educational conformity. --Elliot W. Eisner, professor of education and art, Stanford University Releasing the Imagination challenges all the cant and clich� littering the field of education today. It breaks through the routine, the frozen, the numbing, the unexamined; it shocks the reader into new awareness. --William Ayers, associate professor, College of Education, University of Illinois, Chicago


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This remarkable set of essays defines the role of imagination in general education, arts education, aesthetics, literature, and the social and multicultural context.... The author argues for schools to be restructured as places where students reach out for meanings and where the previously silenced or unheard may have a voice. She invites readers to develop processes to en This remarkable set of essays defines the role of imagination in general education, arts education, aesthetics, literature, and the social and multicultural context.... The author argues for schools to be restructured as places where students reach out for meanings and where the previously silenced or unheard may have a voice. She invites readers to develop processes to enhance and cultivate their own visions through the application of imagination and the arts. Releasing the Imagination should be required reading for all educators, particularly those in teacher education, and for general and academic readers. -- Choice Maxine Greene, with her customary eloquence, makes an impassioned argument for using the arts as a tool for opening minds and for breaking down the barriers to imagining the realities of worlds other than our own familiar cultures.... There is a strong rhythm to the thoughts, the arguments, and the entire sequence of essays presented here. -- American Journal of Education Releasing the Imagination gives us a vivid portrait of the possibilities of human experience and education's role in its realization. It is a welcome corrective to current pressures for educational conformity. --Elliot W. Eisner, professor of education and art, Stanford University Releasing the Imagination challenges all the cant and clich� littering the field of education today. It breaks through the routine, the frozen, the numbing, the unexamined; it shocks the reader into new awareness. --William Ayers, associate professor, College of Education, University of Illinois, Chicago

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

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

    There are some great strengths in this book, and some great weaknesses--in my opinion. The biggest thing that drove me crazy was the author's extensive reliance on literary sources. I hadn't read any of the books she was referring to and thus those references made no sense to me. Her reference list at the end is super long, and most of them aren't scholarly research articles. They're novels, poems, etc. that she quotes in support of her arguments. Only, I can't tell how well the passages show he There are some great strengths in this book, and some great weaknesses--in my opinion. The biggest thing that drove me crazy was the author's extensive reliance on literary sources. I hadn't read any of the books she was referring to and thus those references made no sense to me. Her reference list at the end is super long, and most of them aren't scholarly research articles. They're novels, poems, etc. that she quotes in support of her arguments. Only, I can't tell how well the passages show her argument because they're out of context for me. That said, she does makes perceptive statements about the nature of education, the arts and social change. (It's fairly clear where she stands in politics, which is a little annoying. I think you can be a good teacher whether you lean one way or the other.) The first three chapters/essays in particular were really thought-provoking. Overall, I think it was worth my time to read this, but I wish I'd been familiar with the literary sources she constantly quotes and discusses. I feel like I missed a big piece of the picture.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Schroeder

    Maxine Greene is a true visionary in the highest sense. Her essays contained in Releasing the Imagination encourage the reader to think outside the box, to challenge their own ideas, and furthermore to become the teacher that truly changes the lives of her students. I am inspired by Greene and encourage anyone who wants to think in a new way to read her.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Students didn't like this book as much as I did when I taught it this summer. Theory interspersed with literature, poetry, fictional characters, musings about art, and the importance of aesthetic experiences in education. A worthwhile book. Students didn't like this book as much as I did when I taught it this summer. Theory interspersed with literature, poetry, fictional characters, musings about art, and the importance of aesthetic experiences in education. A worthwhile book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kristan Barczak

    This book is worth reading. Although it was written over 15 years ago, it certainly holds relevance today with its comments on democracy, truth, technology, and schooling. I found it thought-provoking and perhaps even inspiring. While complaining about length sometimes feels unhelpful, I did honestly find this book a bit too long. It was certainly redundant in places, using the same literary references perhaps one too many times. Additionally, I’m actually not sold on her overall argument. Is it This book is worth reading. Although it was written over 15 years ago, it certainly holds relevance today with its comments on democracy, truth, technology, and schooling. I found it thought-provoking and perhaps even inspiring. While complaining about length sometimes feels unhelpful, I did honestly find this book a bit too long. It was certainly redundant in places, using the same literary references perhaps one too many times. Additionally, I’m actually not sold on her overall argument. Is it worth considering? Absolutely. Is it likely a piece of an overall solution? For sure. But it’s almost presented as a sure-fire path to success, and I just can’t buy that.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Hauer

    So hopeful-a call for educators to keep thinking of possibilities instead of resigning and just accepting injustices and meritocracy. Could the arts and the development of imagination lead children to become compassionate citizens who are empowered to change society for the better?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    To say that I "read" this is a lie. I skimmed most of it. It was painful. After 200 pages, the message is this: use your imagination. DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a waste of time. To say that I "read" this is a lie. I skimmed most of it. It was painful. After 200 pages, the message is this: use your imagination. DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a waste of time.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Samuel

    Awesome book. Have too many good things to say about it and too little time. I wrote an article about an arts-based study on this text I did with three colleagues. As I read and re-read her work I am always learning new things from her. I'm moving all of Greene's texts to my bedside table, she deftly navigates difficult issues through her deep understanding and familiarity with the arts. Nothing is overly complicated or hard to understand. I'm astounded at her ease at teaching through the text a Awesome book. Have too many good things to say about it and too little time. I wrote an article about an arts-based study on this text I did with three colleagues. As I read and re-read her work I am always learning new things from her. I'm moving all of Greene's texts to my bedside table, she deftly navigates difficult issues through her deep understanding and familiarity with the arts. Nothing is overly complicated or hard to understand. I'm astounded at her ease at teaching through the text and implicating the importance of the arts and what they can teach across topics and contexts.

  8. 5 out of 5

    sam howie

    'As we ponder educational purposes, we might take into account the possibility that the main point of education (in the context of a lived life) is to enable a human being to become increasingly mindful with regard to his or her lived situation - and its untapped possibilities' (p. 182). 'As we ponder educational purposes, we might take into account the possibility that the main point of education (in the context of a lived life) is to enable a human being to become increasingly mindful with regard to his or her lived situation - and its untapped possibilities' (p. 182).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Barone

    Great theory and key concept/mindset for educators. Way too many literary references, though.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sara Cochran

    Reading this and another Maxine Greene book during my graduate work in education almost sent me away from education. I agree with so much that she says and feel so helpless in the machine. I may revisit this reading someday.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Derek Fenner

    A classic book for arts-education which borrows from phenomenological philosophy & heralds the arts as a vehicle for social change in education.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Karnstedt

  13. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ladonna Canup

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shari

  16. 4 out of 5

    嚴升 粘

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bob

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lyana Azan

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jon

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kara Poe Alexander

  22. 5 out of 5

    Naomi Poindexter

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sara Merwin

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anna Gunn

  25. 5 out of 5

    Liza Pappas

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sasha

  28. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Klein

  29. 5 out of 5

    Valerie Comeaux

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

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