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High Schools/Universities

Where imaginal education has been applied in high schools and universities

In 2009 Mary D’Souza began the Aditi Learning Centre  in Maharashtra, India as seen in the video on the left that reaches out to rural young women, providing them with a safe and caring environment in which to complete their high-school education. Mary tells about founding the center and the ongoing accomplishments in a paper she wrote in 2020: “Founding and Working with a Learning Centre for Women.” Mary’s article, “Learning to Trust My Dreams” written in Wind and Waves, June 2018, describes Centre’s ongoing success. The Aditi Centre is now addressing climate change through its reforestation program.

Project Learning

OliveAnn Slotta, in Denver, Colorado, 2018

Changing Adolescent Images

During the summer of 1986, a team of four high school teachers- one each from the disciplines of science, social studies, English and mathematics- met with two ICA Imaginal Education facilitators to design an image-based, two year curriculum rotation of lessons and community projects to radically alter the academically struggling, 100 +participating students.  This new, school-within-a-school program identified and addressed three unhelpful, negative images, for change:

        1. Their image of school as irrelevant and boring (cause–instruction disconnected from experience)  
        2. The image of community as hostile and dangerous (police/teen-age harassment) and
        3. The image of self as a hopeless learner (pattern of failing grades).

Carefully written curriculum changes included a variety of learning styles and modes of presentation, regular interactions with community leaders, and academic interventions. Intentional messages were verbal, visual and experiential. OliveAnn received the Disney Company’s American Teacher Award  in 1991 for her work with this Imaginal Education program.


For her Master’s degree, Oliveann wrote The Project Approach to Learning: Documentation of the success of an existential approach in which results were a nearly 100% high school graduation rate, and over 50% college enrollment.  In her dissertation titled “Roles and Perceptions of Five Stakeholder Groups in a High School Program that Exemplified Second-Order Change” (University of Colorado, 1999), she wrote about Image-Based Learning. 

Student Drama and

a Reading Community

Leah Early, in Nevada 2018

As a high school drama and reading teacher, Leah Early created a two-week long Spring One Act Play Festival where every student was an actor during the week. On the last night two comedies were to be played. Her story, “Unlikely Hero” shows how images changed that night, from one student seen as a failure to being seen as a hero and how the student csst shifted their images from possible failure to joyful success.

“Creating a Reading Community” is Leah’s story about how a core of English teachers recreated their images when they realized that only 51% of them were graduating a grade level. Changing their reading strategies over a seven year period, the teachers and the students had new images of success: 87% of the students were reading a college level.

Maharashtra, India

A high school program in Maharashtra was led by Hiraman Kokane and Bhimrao Tupe, who in 1993 wrote “Innovative Approaches to Formal Education in the State of Maharashtra, India” with a case study about their work with Sahydrai High School.


United States of America

In the summer of 2009 Sunny Walker facilitated a six-week “ICA Summer Teen Leadership Program” in Chicago, Illinois, for 100 high school students. Half of the day the students were trained in facilitation methods and the other half they were engaged in environmental projects.


Western Samoa  

In 1974 Ann and George Ensinger, Ruth Landmann, Bev Gazarian, and Hana Curts created a manual, “The World We Create: Imaginal Education for Western Samoa”, that documents five years of their teaching in the Methodist High School there.

High Schools




–  “University 13: An Innovative Approach to Higher Education”  (prospectus 1973 and 1975).