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Zachary Towne-Smith's Comments

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huffingtonpost entry

Transform Education? Yes, We Must

Commented Jan 16, 2009 at 10:01:03 in Politics

“The workshop process (Imagina) will be repeated once again in 2009, with a second edition of the Imagitlán Anti-Methodology in Creativity scheduled for publication in may. Our progress can be followed on

Aside from our work in education, we are applying creativity work in productivity management with the national association of exporters, entrepreneurs, inventors, environmentalists, and various other youth and arts groups. We hope to find ways to implement creativity work in various areas, including US markets.

Of course - this is just one way to practically apply creativity and open new paradigms in education. How else could we do it?

Zachary Towne-Smith
Director of Curriculum development and Training
huffingtonpost entry

Transform Education? Yes, We Must

Commented Jan 16, 2009 at 09:57:55 in Politics

“I'd like to posit one model for beginning to break down the paradigms of modern education. Right now in Guatemala Imagitlán ( is in the second year of a pilot certification and training process with rural middle school teachers. These teachers will have to implement a new national curriculum in a few years time that radically alters the fundamental tenets of their role as teachers. It transforms an objective based model to one of competencies, the most important of these being the effective formation of active and productive citizens. For example: Home-Economics is currently a girls only crafts and cooking class, with industrial arts as the all-male counterpart. The new curriculum area unites these two classes (along with Accounting) and calls them Productivity and Development.

To make this type of shift in paradigms requires creative individuals to interact in a creative environment. Our sequence of workshops is based first on waking up and developing people's self-esteem and access to divergent thought processes, creating an environment where judgement is postponed. Once this internal and external creative climate is established, projects are identified, developed, and executed uniting the school and community.

Our results after completing one year with 136 teachers have been impressive. In an area where teacher's acceptance of new initiatives has been traditionally low, participants in our workshops stood out among their peers in a national trial run aimed at testing out and developing implementation methods for the new curriculum.