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Homework Help: Imagination and It's Stages

  1. Nov 13, 2007 #1
    Imagination has to do a lot with the learning process and how it can affect learning skills. What has me puzzeled is how it is lost. Children must develop it by roleplay or simple mimicry to understand the difference from fantasy and reality. What I can't understand what takes Imagination's place after all this has been learned. Adults still have their imagination for many purposes: creating worlds for new games, to understand a narrative or a novel. But how can we control it's difference? What are the stages for this process?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2008 #2
    Yes it is part of the learning process as it enables the mind to grasp abstract concepts or view a topic from other points of view. Like the old parable of 5 blind men describing an elephant. Imagination is an natural innate esoteric skill we all have. It is closely tied to emotions. It cannot be lost or replaced through anything we learn. It can be helped through roleplay or in various other ways. Imagination does not exist only in fantasy. And reality and imagination are definitly not mutually exclusive. You can't approach it as one might approach the arguments of evolution versus religion versus intelligent design. It doesn't work that way.

    You are trying to view the process via an illogical discipline. Would you use chemistry to explain a mechanical action/reaction? One of my skills is as an artist. So let's approach this from an artistic point of view. As with all skills, if unused, imagination might lie dormant, but it still remains within our arsenal. Like any skill if nutured it will improve with use. Learning can broaden it's boundaries. It doesn't limit them. Discouragement inhibits development & may cause the individual to internalize and avoid any outward display of imagination. The natural response is for the individual to withdraw whenever in the presence of the discourager. But it doesn't kill their soul or spirit. When one dreams, even the strongest of inhibitions will be overcome. That is the primary advantage of dreaming. If we all were only serious and logical and could never sleep and dream we would likely go insane or turn psychotic. Your imagination is still being exercised even if one does not realize it. Through the books we read, artistic performances we watch, pictures we see, etceteras. Imagination is not limited to the human species. Even animals use their imagination. Haven't you ever seen a dog trying to run in it's sleep or utter a subdued bark or whine? Or chase it's tail in play?

    You don't "control" imagination. An artist that tries to do so is doomed to failure; writer's block, stage fright, or gazing angrily at a blank canvas, are the actions/reactions of trying to do so. Even in the business world, placing artificial controls on imagination is adverse to productivy, progression, and success. To attempt to do so blocks new ideas and concepts. The job becomes stale and unrewarding. I'm not sure what you mean by stages. you can't really break imagination down in a sterile clinical form like that.

    If you are wanting to know how to develop through various stages to improve imagination and creativity. My best suggestions are first to just let go. Don't try to push it or try to analyse it. Relax and allow the mind to wander freely. Embrace the thoughts as they come. Ask yourself what if ____? And allow the blanks to fill themselves. Leave a notebook by the bed & try writing down your dreams as soon as you wake up. Ask three diferent people for a noun, an action, and a location; then write or tell a story about it. Whatever flashes into your mind. That is how improvisation works. You just go with it no matter where it might take you or how weird it gets.

    Haven't you ever looked at someone and wondered what it would be like to be them? Or had someone catch your eye and had thoughts about having a relationship with them? Ever have a hero & wished you were like them? Watched a television show and laughed, got angry, cried, or felt pity? Ever experiment with spice on food thinking that perhaps it might agreeably alter it's taste? Guess what? If you have, that is imagination at work. Can learning ever prevent imagination? Of course not. Even in learning, imagination is part & parcel to the process. How else could you understand a new concept. You were not being programmed by your teachers and mentors. They had to use their imagination to try to reach you and if you learned something, "Hey it worked." I used to teach too, so believe me, I know. Part of the challenge was finding imaginative ways to get a student to understand. Even if one could unlearn imagination, why would anyone want to? What purpose would it serve? Can anyone really stop someone else from using their imagination? Of course not.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  4. Jun 5, 2008 #3


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    IMHO this is a good summation of why imagination seems to go away as people grow older, increased knowledge dispels many of our thoughts, but always seems to create more things to consider. Fear of what others think, retards many good ideas, I feel that many of our needed solutions in life have gone to graves of those who were intimidated to speak their minds.:frown:
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