Powerful Techniques for Teaching Adults
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Praise for Powerful Techniques for Teaching Adults

"Stephen Brookfield has used his gifts for clear thinking and lucid writing to produce this theoretically informed, immensely practical book on how the dynamics of power and adult teaching intersect. It should be required reading for everyone who teaches adults." ??—Ronald M. Cervero, professor and associate dean, College of Education, University of Georgia

"In one of his most personal, emotionally candid, and accessible books yet, Stephen Brookfield shares his passionate and indispensable commitment to empowering the learner both inside and outside the formal classroom, offering a trove of exercises, stories, and practical teaching tips to confront the hidden curriculum of power head on. For any teacher, coach, supervisor, or mentor who cares deeply about adult learning, here's a true gem from one of our great contemporary adult educators." —Laurent A. Parks Daloz, senior fellow, The Whidbey Institute

"This book is not about increasing your power as a teacher — it is about the dynamics of power in the adult classroom, challenging power structures, and the techniques teachers can use to empower learners. Brookfield's uses the lens of 'power' to distill, for the practitioner, ??a lifetime's work of scholarly and practical engagement with adult teaching and learning.' —Mark Tennant, emeritus professor, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

"Brookfield writes in a nice easy-to-read autobiographical style. He explains and fully discusses many good techniques for teaching in an effective and humane manner. Everybody who teaches, whether they teach children or adults, will benefit from reading this interesting book and learning from his lifetime of experience as a teacher."

—Peter Jarvis, emeritus professor of continuing education, University of Surrey


Stephen D. Brookfield is Distinguished University Professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For forty years he has taught in England, Canada, Australia, and the United States. A six-time winner of the Cyril O. Houle Award for Outstanding Literature in Adult Education, he is the author of numerous books on teaching including Teaching for Critical Thinking, The Skillful Teacher, and Understanding and Facilitating Adult Learning, all from Jossey-Bass.


Preface ix

Acknowledgments xvii

About the Author xix

1. The Essence of Powerful Teaching 1

2. Teaching for Critical Thinking 35

3. Using Discussion Methods 63

4. Fostering Self-Directed Learning 89

5. Democratizing the Classroom 119

6. Teaching About Power 149

7. Teaching Using the Creative Arts 185

8. Negotiating the Emotions of Powerful Teaching 217

References 245

Index 265