The Spark

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Image by Manoj Vasanth*

One of the major points in three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas L. Friedman’s March 21 New York Times op-ed column echoes an argument that Eric Liu and I make in Imagination First. Writing enthusiastically about the recent Washington, D.C., awards dinner honoring finalists in the 2010 Intel Science Talent Search—a competition that asks high school students to solve scientific problems—the journalist trains the spotlight on imagination. Continue reading

Notes from an Imagination Advocate, Part One

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Image by Jacob Bigelow (1786-1879)*

As regular readers of this blog know, most of my entries have to do with things going on in the world—with people in various sectors whose careers and actions embody imaginative practice. But it seems appropriate now and then to retreat from the hustle and bustle, exciting as it is, in order to reflect on some of the major issues facing imagination advocates like me and my colleagues at Lincoln Center Institute. One matter I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is the educational discussion centering on the STEM fields.

“STEM,” for those who don’t know, refers to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the fields arguably responsible for the most impactful advances in society. In recent years, the United States government has demonstrated its desire to promote STEM education in public schools and in colleges and universities. This makes plenty of sense; as the STEM Education Coalition explains on its Web site, these fields play a “critical role … in enabling the U.S. to remain the economic and technological leader of the global marketplace of the 21st century.” Yet, with all of the enthusiasm for STEM, arts-in-education proponents sometimes wonder, “Well, where do we fit into this picture?” Continue reading