Powerful Techniques for Teaching Adults

Powerful Techniques for teaching adultsPowerful Techniques for Teaching Adults by Stephen D. Brookfield
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One of the enduring realities teachers of adults face is negotiating the power dynamics of their classrooms. Teachers have positional power and authority but can feel powerless in the face of student resistance or noncompliance. How can teachers create classrooms that empower learners? When is a teacher’s power used responsibly, and when is it abused? How can teachers ensure that power inequities that exist outside the classroom are not automatically reproduced inside them? These are some of the questions Stephen Brookfield explores in his new book.

In this practical manual, full of tested exercises, methods, and activities, Brookfield explains how teaching critical thinking, using discussion, and fostering self-directed learning can create the conditions for student empowerment and how teachers can democratize their classrooms. He reveals why adults often resist teaching that encourages them to challenge dominant power and describes how teachers can set a tone to help students push back against ideological manipulation. Powerful Techniques for Teaching Adults explores the connections between emotion, intuition, and power and reviews different ways for instructors to survive the emotional demands of powerful teaching.

Although power is the theme that runs through the book, it is primarily a collection of teaching techniques, described in Brookfield’s down-to-earth, accessible style, which covers these important areas:

  •     Exercises to help adults to think critically
  •     Activities to promote adult self-directed learning
  •     Ways to create more democratic adult classrooms
  •     Techniques to teach adults about power
  •     Empowering adults using the creative arts