- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 2 edition (August 17, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0787996866
- ISBN-13: 978-0787996864
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life, 10th Anniversary Edition 2nd Edition
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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 heartthe 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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Palmer talks about the flaws of objectivism and its effect on the teacher's mind, as well as the student's mind (and really, on the average American's mind). He contends that it creates disconnectedness that makes proper learning impossible. In that disconnectedness, we divide apart our world and engage in flawed mindsets like competition.
He expresses the need for a teacher to provide community for students, through being connected with the subject and connected with them. One has to be made vulnerable in order to really teach and to really learn. He describes teaching and learning as a great paradox, but a paradox that must be embraced if we are to learn and teach properly.
Palmer suggests that the modern mind is full of division and disconnectedness and must be remedied by community and connectedness. Throughout the book, he shows how this can be accomplished in various ways. It is a truly profound book. I have learned a lot from reading it and I highly recommend it.
I must say a lot of people have majorly misunderstood Palmer in this book. It's important to read carefully and NOT box Palmer in with the "let students do anything they want at all in the classroom even if they learn nothing, so they can 'find themselves'" crowd. He does not promote that. I admit his language comes across as kind of "hippy" sometimes, but if you really consider his IDEAS, he is not a pushover or an over-permissive free-for-all-ist at all. He just thinks teaching is relational, and ideas are important, and can help us build relationships. I think he's right. And I'm glad he writes!
This indeed requires a courageous willingness to make oneself vulnerable. But what exactly is involved, and what is the payoff? Thankfully, Palmer's analysis avoids the fuzzy metaphors (and half-baked metaphysics) that spoil many contemporary "new age" visions of the role of spirituality in public life. Palmer, who was trained in philosophy, religion, and sociology, provides many specific examples. His most conventional claim is that modelling Socratic examination allows teachers to inspire their students to construct deeply fulfilling lives. He also argues that a Socratic entanglement of a teacher with her subject causes a passionate engagement more helpful than any bureaucrat's assessment instrument. Palmer draws on anecdotes--from kindergarten teachers to medical school professors, from shop teachers to physicists--to make his case. These anecdotes provide constructive solutions to many of the most painful problems teachers face and make plausible Palmer's vision of the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual depths of a life committed to teaching and learning.