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To Know as We Are Known: Education as a Spiritual Journey Paperback – May 28, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (May 28, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060664517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060664510
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A phenomenon in higher education." -- -- The New York Times

"Without a doubt the most inspiring book on education I have read in a long time." -- -- John H. Westerhoff III, Duke University

From the Publisher

A spirituality of education that challenges teachers to move beyond conventional ideas of instruction and learning to develop vital new teaching methods incorporating insights from traditional contemplative wisdom.

More About the Author

PARKER J. PALMER is a writer, teacher and activist whose work speaks deeply to people in many walks of life. He is founder and senior partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal. His books include "A Hidden Wholeness," "Let Your Life Speak," "The Courage to Teach," "The Active Life," "To Know as We Are Known," "The Company of Strangers," "The Promise of Paradox," "The Heart of Higher Education," and "Healing the Heart of Democracy." He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, as well as eleven honorary doctorates, two Distinguished Achievement Awards from the National Educational Press Association, and an Award of Excellence from the Associated Church Press. In 1998, the Leadership Project, a national survey of 10,000 educators, named him one of the thirty most influential senior leaders in higher education and one of the ten key agenda-setters of the past decade. In 2010, he was given the William Rainey Harper Award (previously won by Margaret Mead, Marshall McLuhan, Paulo Freire, and Elie Wiesel). "Living the Questions: Essays Inspired by the Work and Life of Parker J. Palmer," was published in 2005. In 2011, the Utne Reader named him as one of "25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World"--people who "don't just think out loud but who walk their talk on a daily basis." (See the Oct-Nov 2011 print or online edition.) He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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You will be a better person at the end of your reading.
Mark Valentine
I've read several of his books and by far, this is the most inspirational.
Ellie
All education coursework should include Parker Palmer's work.
claudia trine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have long been a fan of Parker Palmer, from his work on teaching and vocation to his work on spirituality - his volume 'Let Your Life Speak' is one of my regular 're-reads'; his book 'The Courage to Teach' is also an important piece of my personal vocational discernment. This book is a 'new event' in my life; originally assigned as part of a class, it has already become part of my 'necessary' books.

I recognise myself in some of the pages here, both as a teacher and as a student. Palmer combines ideas from theories of education with ideas from theology, spirituality and vocational discernment. I do sense myself falling into the 'must get an A' mode in many of my classes; Palmer writes that this is fairly typical of the Western intellectual paradigm. He draws an example from the film 'The Day After Trinity', about the makers of the first atomic weapons, and how they were goal-oriented to such an extent that they didn't take time to reflect on the greater ramifications of their work - the work itself and progress toward the goal (here an 'A' constituted a workable, fission bomb) was all that mattered. One of the downsides of letting to part of the educational experience go in favour of a less target-oriented, graded approach (not really addressed in his writing) is that the rest of the world does look to this - will others interpret the 'C' on my transcript from my undergraduate days and realise as I did that that particular class was more valuable to me than any other?

Palmer states that our quest for knowledge derives from two sources, curiosity and control. Palmer argues another source, however, beyond these two, and that is love. 'This love is not a soft and sentimental virtue, not a fuzzy feeling of romance.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book appears to be a teacher-oriented book, but it is in fact a book for those interested in knowing themselves better, which then is integrated into their teaching. Palmer deals with life seen through the eyes of truth, which includes teaching. This book not only helped my teaching, but also my faith, my knowledge of myself, and how to really interact with others. This book has reshaped how I think about life and teaching. Good teaching comes from our personal development, and you cannot separate them in any way.
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Zossima on January 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
Palmer's book, ostensibly about education and learning, contains truths that call one to introspection regarding the whole of life. The book has definitely influenced me to change the objective and methods of my teaching. But its value in my personal life cannot be measured. Palmer's teaching regarding the communal nature of truth and the necessity of obedience to that which is learned forces deep introspection. What words of knowledge have I let fall to the ground in my search for the next great idea or intellectual stimulant? Introspection on this matter brings me to understand that entering troth with knowledge frees me to live simply, in community with mankind. Dave
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Vanessa Bradby on March 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
Parker Palmer has created a truly outstanding work with To Know as We Are Known. This work explores the nature of truth, and challenges readers to examine and transform the ways they teach and learn
Palmer's model centers on the premise that truth is neither objective (an object can be manipulated, abused, and co-opted for use to whatever ends we so desire, we do not bear the kind of love that requires responsibility toward objects) nor subjective (subjectivism is the decision to listen only to ourselves in the search for truth, it concedes diversity without calling into dialogue.) Truth is relational. Real truth can only be found in an open willingness to both search out and listen in respect (borne out of non-selfish love) to the subject being learned, the students being taught, and to the future we are creating together.
In order to illustrate the objectivist approach to knowledge, he uses the example of the atomic bomb. He quotes Robert Oppenheimer as saying "The physicists have known sin." The objective way treats knowledge as something self-contained, and takes no responsibility for the outcomes of research or development. He lets the fruits of this way, the example of Hiroshima, stand in stark contrast to a story about 4th century wandering mystics and hermits (the Desert Fathers and Mothers.)
The story is about Abba (Father) Felix, and a group of monks who sought him out for his wisdom. They begged him to give them a word of truth. He was silent for a long time, and then explained that God had withdrawn words of truth from old men, because those who seek them out had no intention of following the truth they received with their lives. The brothers then realized their own intentions and groaned "Pray for us Abba Felix!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mark Valentine on March 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
What I carried away from this short book is this: Teacher's need to create a culture in their classrooms that involves these three things, Openness, Boundaries, and Hospitality. Meditating on these three elements gives me motivation to strive to achieve a balance in my own teaching using these elements, creating volume with these three dimensions. Openness allows for freedom to pursue ideas and skills with curiosity and creativity; Boundaries allows for discipline and focus in achieving educational goals, and Hospitality allows for the respect and responsibility that must be at the heart of all human endeavors to appear and flourish.
A little tip, though: After the first chapter, for me, the book really took off. At first, I felt that he was somewhat vague and inspecific in what he wanted to write about, but thereafter, he filled each chapter with meditative, thoughtful, yet practical talk about significant teaching goals and practices.
I think reading Palmer on Education is akin to reading Rollo May on Psychology. You will be a better person at the end of your reading.
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