Date of this Version
Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council 20:1 (Spring/Summer 2019), pp. 39-43.
The article examines how to incorporate issues of social justice and diversity in the honors classroom through critical imagination. Inclusion and diversity are among the five strategic pillars of honors education, but the challenge is to create space for social justice as an academic inquiry. This article describes an honors project where students were tasked to come up with their own concept for a television show, using their imagination to bridge gaps in representations on television. Critical imagination allowed the students to move beyond analyzing television in its current state and conceptualize what more inclusive television could look like in the future. Students often feel overwhelmed by issues like racism that seem insurmountable, and they can feel pressured to come up with a right answer rather than trusting their own observations. Critical imagination requires students to examine issues from multiple viewpoints and explore their own thoughts on the problem in front of them. The article concludes with suggestions for incorporating critical imagination in a few classroom scenarios and assignments.