Helping teenagers tick through the power of imagination

Iris Christine Hale, University of Texas at El Paso


Imagination. What is this creative, image-forming process that allows humans to fashion the “original” from that which the mind absorbs as sensation and from that which is stored in the mind and memory? How does the imagination take something like an image or idea and modify it into a totally new concept? If there is more to imagination's operation than simply a mechanistic forming and reforming of images, how is it defined? And, to what end can this operation of imagination be used by the educational system to teach adolescents and teenagers more effectively? Jean Paul Sartre says that imagination provides a place where the mind can conjure up visions of what the world “might” be and then can translate the visions into any number of aesthetic vehicles including stories, music, art, or poetry, or mathematical and scientific pursuits. The fruit of this imaginative process may be the key to motivating the creative processes of young people and helping them imagine effectively in the educational realm. Since today's teenagers are the imaginative progeny who likely will solve the burgeoning problems of the future, it seems prudent that educators learn what makes the teen imagination tick, or what motivates the teenager to think, dream, and imagine.

Subject Area

Language arts|Educational sociology|Teacher education

Recommended Citation

Hale, Iris Christine, "Helping teenagers tick through the power of imagination" (2005). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1430956.