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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 + Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation + A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life
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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"A profoundly moving, utterly passionate, and inspired articulation of the call to, and the pain and joy of, teaching. It is must reading for any and every teacher, at any level."
—Jon Kabat-Zinn author of Wherever You Go, There You Are

For nearly forty years, Parker Palmer has worked on behalf of teachers and others who choose vocations for reasons of the heart but may lose heart because of the troubled, sometimes toxic systems in which they work. Hundreds of thousands of readers have benefited from The Courage to Teach, which takes teachers on an inner journey toward reconnecting with themselves, their students, and their colleagues, and toward reclaiming vocational passion.

The Courage to Teach builds on a simple premise: good teaching cannot be reduced to technique but is rooted in the identity and integrity of the teacher. Good teaching takes myriad forms but good teachers share one trait: they are authentically present in the classroom, deeply connected with their students and their subject. These connections are held in the teacher's heart—the place where intellect, emotion, spirit, and converge in the human self. Good teachers weave a life-giving web between themselves, their subjects, and their students, helping their students learn how to weave a world for themselves.

In a new Foreword and Afterword to this tenth anniversary edition, Parker Palmer reflects on a decade of movement-building during which he and his colleagues at the Center for Courage & Renewal have helped thousands of teachers and others restore identity and integrity to professional life. On the accompanying audio CD, Parker and his colleagues, Marcy Jackson, and Estrus Tucker, talk about the Center's on-the-ground work and share their hopes for this movement toward human wholeness and community.

From the Back Cover

Celebrating 10 Years of The Courage to Teach

I am a teacher at heart, and there are moments in the classroom when I can hardly hold the joy. . . . But at other moments, the classroom is so lifeless or painful or confused—and I am so powerless to do anything about it—that my claim to be a teacher seems a transparent sham. . . . If you are a teacher who never has bad days, or who has them but does not care, this book is not for you. This book is for teachers who have good days and bad, and whose bad days bring the suffering that comes only from something one loves. It is for teachers who refuse to harden their hearts because they love learners, learning, and the teaching life.
—From the Introduction

Today, ten years after the publication of The Courage to Teach, I am more hopeful than ever about the potential for education reform because this book has helped me meet so many people who care passionately about teaching and learning and are willing to act on their passion. "Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher's life" allows us to return, grounded and renewed, to the outer landscape of our lives. Having taken heart in the work to which we are called, we can give heart once again to our students, our colleagues, our schools, and our world—a world where heartlessness yields only to gifts and graces that come from within.
—Adapted from the Foreword to the 10th Anniversary Edition

CD included with exclusive conversation with Parker J. Palmer about the Courage to Teach Movement — past, present, and future.

Customer Reviews

If you are a teacher, I highly recommend reading this book.
Luke Reynolds
In his book,The Courage To Teach, Parker Palmer refers to the power of great mentors to "awaken a truth within us."
Georgia Weithe
I'm still in the middle of reading this book, but I'm basically underlining and highlighting most of the insights.
Margaret Hall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Golden on March 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Parker Palmer's wisdom is invaluable to all who teach. His ideas are both profound and revolutionary. The Courage to Teach leads us on an exploration of the paradoxes inherent in our living and our teaching. We are encouraged to "cultivate the capacity for connectedness on which all good teaching depends." Parker's words inspire us to live and teach authentically, and invite our students to do the same. This book is a must read for all who struggle to teach in a way that opens students' hearts, as well as their minds.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Georgia Weithe on September 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In his book,The Courage To Teach, Parker Palmer refers to the power of great mentors to "awaken a truth within us." By his own definition, he has mentored thousands of teachers over the past decade, guiding them toward their own truth, integrity and the courage needed to hang in there during this turbulent time for the teaching profession. This book is a must for everyone who recognizes, that there has never been a time when it took more courage to teach! Georgia Weithe, Educational Consultant
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sally Hare on March 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I love this book! I loved it when the first edition came out ten years ago -- and I love it even more now, with the new beginning and ending. I also love the CD that comes with the book -- the wonderful conversation between Parker and his colleagues. Parker puts into words what so many of us have felt -- and he does it exquisitely. He says that we teach who we are, that the teacher's identity and integrity are more important than any technique or method. Good teachers have always known that -- but we've begun to doubt our own knowing in this mean climate that has left way too many teachers behind. This book is the perfect gift for every new teacher-- as well as for those of us who struggle some days to remember the passion that brought us to teaching in the first place!
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Format: Hardcover
Now in its tenth anniversary edition, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life is the testimony of veteran educator Parker J. Palmer, created to help fellow teachers take heart in the face bureaucratic systems that are sometimes outright hostile, among other obstacles. The Courage to Teach is centered upon the basic premise that truly good teaching comes not merely from technique, but rather is rooted in the identity and integrity of the instructor. Chapters tell of the critical importance of forming a connection with students, forming a positive community network, and the invaluable role of an indomitable spirit within teachers. An accompanying audio CD of a conversation with Parker J. Palmer and associates rounds out the inspirational guide by a passionate professional, for professionals seeking to revitalize their inner fire.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Chip Wood on August 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Do you have a favorite teacher? Someone who is working overtime to inspire your children? Someone who adds meaning to your life? Or perhaps you are a teacher who needs some deep inspiration and healing. This book is for all of us. For ten years Parker Palmer's writing has been the most powerful word-of-mouth best seller on the market. Don't wait to add it to your library! Chip Wood, M.S.W., Elementary Principal, Co-Founder, Responsive Classroom
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Luke Reynolds on October 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Parker Palmer's book, The Courage to Teach, advocates for an authentic way of teaching that is based on connection and inspiration rather than on competition and pride. He powerfully documents his own journey--even modeling what it looks like to be an authentic teacher--and shares his ideas and experiences with clarity, compassion and boldness. Palmer's desire to help teachers become bettter instructors by dealing with their own fears and realizing their own passions is exactly what education in America needs right now. The modes of teaching and realting Palmer explores can help our students enormously--and ourselves. If you are a teacher, I highly recommend reading this book. When I first began teaching high school, I re-read certain chapters agian and again, and they provided sustenance on that daunting journey of learning to be both honest and bold at the same time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. E. Cooper on March 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is a gift to all dedicated educators. Parker Palmer's thoughtful text, The Courage to Teach, has been updated and expanded for this, his tenth anniversary edition. I love the CD that comes with it. I used this book in my graduate course last fall and my students really enjoyed reading it and discussing Palmer's ideas. One student commented, "From Parker Palmer I've learned how to think more critically....I find myself spending much more time thinking before speaking. Not just in class but in LIFE!" All of us who work in classrooms need to consider the impact of our words on others. This book is an excellent guide to understanding that it is not technique but one's identity and integrity that make a difference in the classroom.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. Michalec on September 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Ten years ago Parker Palmer introduced many teachers and educational leaders to the notion that we teach who we are. And the better we know the inner landscape of our professional identity and calling, the better we can create learning spaces for students that invite learners into relationship with subject matter. In the ten years since, Palmer's validation of the role of heart/courage in teaching has attracted the attention of doctors, lawyers, religious leaders, business executives, and other professionals who often find themselves in moments of tension between their heart and their role. Today's policy and practice climate in education is driven, in part, by an emphasis on test scores and accountability. Courage to Teach is a wonderful counter balance and reminds us of the importance of also paying attention to the wisdom our teaching/leading heart offers all educators, whether they enact their craft between the four walls of the classroom, the operating theatre, or corporate boardroom.
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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.
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