Essential Reading: Leadership

The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life by Parker J. Palmer
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Courage To Teach

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.

Powerful Techniques for teaching adults

Powerful 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

Androgogy In Action

Andragogy in Action: Applying Modern Principles of Adult Learning by Malcolm S. Knowles
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This classic work by a pioneer in the field of adult learning provides over thirty case examples from a variety of settings illustrating andragogy (principles of adult learning) in practice, including applications in business, government, colleges and universities, religious education, remedial education, and continuing education for the professions.