More about social imagination

        


“Social imagination is the capacity to invent visions of what should be and what might be in our deficit society, in the streets where we live and our schools. Social imagination not only suggests but also requires that one take action to repair or renew.”

- Maxine Greene: Releasing the Imagination, pg. 5.


Maxine Greene,  2013

We also have our social imagination: the capacity to invent visions of what should be and what might be in our deficient society, on the streets where we live, on our schools. As I write of social imagination, I am reminded of Jean-Paul Sartre’s declaration that “it is on the day that we can conceive of a different state of affairs that a new light falls on our troubles and our suffering and that we decide that these are unbearable”
    - Maxine Greene: Releasing the Imagination, pg. 5.

"Imagination, intention: Neither is sufficient.  There must be a transmutation of good will, of what I call wide-awakeness into action.  Yes, wide-awakeness is an aspect of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s (1964) view of "the highest level of consciousness" and Paulo Freire's (2005) conception of  “conscientization.” Both demand reflection and praxis, which are inseparable from each other.  Both not only imagine things as if they could be otherwise, but move persons to begin on their own initiatives, to begin to make them so. I remember Freire (2004) saying that the peasants must be able to imagine a "lovelier world" (p. 30) if changes were to be made in this one.  In what we choose to imagine as a democratic school, there must be restlessness in the face of the given, a reaching beyond the takenfor granted.
J
ohn Dewey (1916) said that to be educated meant becoming different--reaching towards others in a public space, achieving a community that is forever incomplete. The arts can move the young to see what they have never seen, to view unexpected possibilities. They are always there on the margins to refuse the indecent, the unjust, to awaken the critical and committed to visions of things being otherwise.  There can be no final solution; but there is time--always time--to reject somnolence, to choose to begin."
   
- Maxine Greene:  Prologue to Art, Social Imagination and Action, Journal of Educational Controversy, Volume 5, No. 1, Winter 2010.


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