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The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life Hardcover – Aug 17 2007


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The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life + The Courage to Teach Guide for Reflection and Renewal + A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life
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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 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.


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Amazon.com: 61 reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Transformative Ideas for All Teachers March 4 2008
By Margaret Golden - Published on Amazon.com
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.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A Book For Our Time Sept. 25 2007
By Georgia Weithe - Published on Amazon.com
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
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Everyone Who Teaches Deserves This Book! Aug. 17 2007
By Chip Wood - Published on Amazon.com
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
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
An accompanying audio CD of a conversation with Parker J. Palmer and associates rounds out the inspirational guide Jan. 4 2008
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
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.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
My favorite book about education March 6 2008
By Sally Hare - Published on Amazon.com
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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