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The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life, 10th Anniversary Edition Hardcover – MPEG, August 17, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0787996864 ISBN-10: 0787996866 Edition: 10th Anniversary Edition

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The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life,  10th Anniversary Edition + The Courage to Teach Guide for Reflection and Renewal,  10th Anniversary Edition + Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
Price for all three: $44.23

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 10th Anniversary Edition edition (August 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787996866
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787996864
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

As a spiritually inspirational book for teachers, The Courage to Teach is one of the best. The premise is concise and unarguable: good teaching comes from the identity and the integrity of the teacher. Teachers are encouraged to turn their inquiring minds inward--developing a deeper understanding of what it means to fulfill the spiritual calling of teaching. Good teachers share one trait, says author Parker Palmer, they are able to weave a complex web of connections among themselves, their subjects, and their students, so that students can learn to weave a world for themselves. The connections made by good teachers are held not in their methods but in their hearts--the place where intellect and emotion and spirit and will converge in the human self. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Palmer (To Know as We Are Known, HarperCollins, 1993) is a senior adviser at the Fetzer Institute and has taught at Beloit College and Georgetown University. He discusses the inner life of the dedicated teacher and how that life shapes teaching and learning. According to Palmer, "Teaching, like any truly human activity, emerges from one's inwardness, for better or worse." In this book, he explores the inner landscape of the teaching self, and to understand that landscape more fully, he discusses three important paths that must be taken?intellectual, emotional, and spiritual. Recommended for all teachers, this book would be a valuable addition to professional and teacher education collections.?Barbara S. Meagher, Central Connecticut State Univ., New Britain
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

If you are a teacher, I highly recommend reading this book.
Luke Reynolds
I'm still in the middle of reading this book, but I'm basically underlining and highlighting most of the insights.
Margaret Hall
Mr. Palmer is challenging us to reexamine not only our teaching styles but ourselves as teachers.
A. C. Hughes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

140 of 143 people found the following review helpful By Mark Valentine on November 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In many ways, it is itself an act of courage to read this book. Mr. Palmer has taken the rare, difficult task of probing to the heart of the learning experience and seeks to reveal its essence for any teacher willing to explore with him. In this task--like a good teacher--he asks more questions than he answers and he is concerned in discovering the process and the means of learning and teaching.
For me, what lingers after finishing the short book are two key concepts his identifies: identity and integrity. For each individual teacher, the need to have some balanced perspective of self-identity becomes paramount. Do I teach to peddle my agenda? Do I teach in order to be the 'big fish in a little pond'? Do I teach because I like the stage? Or, Do I teach in order to fulfill an inner yearning, even sadness?. Next, the balance of integrity must center a good teacher. Do I seek fairness among my students? Do I build good habits of discipline? Do I live justly? Eschew competition? Seek first of all to teach meaning, itself a subject-centered approach?
See? These are the kinds of questions that echo in my mind after reading The Courage To Teach. I particularly like what Mr. Palmer had to say regarding fear, teaching from fear, and hiding among our fears while facing them. Beauty lies in the paradox.
Now, I look for those critical moments in teaching for what they are. I strive to find my identity in my students' faces; I am challenged to live with integrity in my heart AND in my mind.
No student of educational reform should be without this book.
One more thing: if nothing else, read this book for the research and precious quotes that Mr. Palmer uses. His endnotes are worth the price alone.
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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Bob Welsh bobwel@mindspring.com on July 6, 1998
Format: Hardcover
What made us teachers in the first place? Palmer asks. We fell in love with a subject that spoke to us deeply and personally. Why does that intial inspiration so often leave us, and the daily grind of the job take its place? Palmer tries to restore that depth, that bright inspiration that got us going as teachers in the first place. It will take courage, he points out, for us teachers to speak and act from that deep place where our subject inspires us; but for our students' sake, and for the sake of our own souls, we must take that courage. His story on page 59 of the shop teacher who finally grasped the courage to be honest with his principal is one of the most heartening stories I've ever read. The entire book speaks powerfully to both the mind and heart of those of us who teach. And it also gives news of a national movement forming to bring teachers into dialogue with each other about the spiritual dimensions of their teaching. This is a much-needed book, one that inspires teachers to hope and to dare to be fully human in their living and their teaching.
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By a strings teacher on December 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I've been teaching 9 years and had begun to think the toll was just too great. If you invest your emotional energy into your students, you are at risk for some very personal feelings of rejection.... and it can come from parents and administrators, as well as the students. This book probably saved me from quitting or self-destructing. Because Palmer so squarely defines this risk and compassionately encourages his reader (we're all teachers in some respect) with explanation and appreciation, it allows the teacher to once again feel that he/she is making the sacrifice for a worthy and noble cause. I loved this book.
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By A. C. Hughes on July 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Though not an easy book to read, as a teacher of some thirty years I find this book to be challenging, inspiring and definitely thought-provoking. Too often we as teachers rely on the tried and true and as a result become somewhat stale. Mr. Palmer is challenging us to reexamine not only our teaching styles but ourselves as teachers. I shall read it through time and again and would definitely recommend it to anyone who has the heart and soul of a teacher.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Mike MacFerrin on May 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"The Courage to Teach" should be read again and again. It invokes new insights into your teaching career every time at various points in your life. The concepts are inspiring, and the conclusions honest.
If I have any complaints, it's that at times in the book, the language became a bit thick and abstract, losing the reader in extensive passages that might need to be reread several times to fully understand. For example, a sentence from page 105 reads:
"In rejecting the objectivist model, I have not embraced a relativism that reduces truth to whatever the community decides, for the community of truth includes a transcendent dimension of truth-knowing and truth-telling that takes us beyond relativism and absolutism alike."
To be fair, this quote is taken out of context, and I know that the book is not meant to be read like a pleasure novel... it's much deeper and more though-provoking than that. It's a real gem when Palmer describes examples of his points from classroom experiences, but I found myself choking on the pages of abstract language separating these examples. It took me longer than expected to finish.
Despite my minor misgivings, I highly recommend the book... especially to teachers. It'll be a permanent fixture on my bookshelf for years.
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