The Courage to Teach Guide for Reflection and Renewal, 20th Anniversary Edition
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More About This Title The Courage to Teach Guide for Reflection and Renewal, 20th Anniversary Edition



The Courage to Teach Guide for Reflection & Renewal is a helpful companion to Parker J. Palmer's classic work on restoring identity and integrity to professional life. A superb resource for those who wish to extend their exploration of the ideas in The Courage to Teach, as individuals or part of a study group, the Guide provides practical ways to create "safe space" for honest reflection and probing conversations and offers chapter-by-chapter questions and exercises to further explore the many insights in The Courage to Teach.

The bonus online content includes a 70-minute interview with Parker Palmer, in which Palmer reflects on a wide range of subjects including the heart of the teacher, the crisis in education, diverse ways of knowing, relationships in teaching and learning, approaches to institutional transformation, and teachers as "culture heroes." Discussion questions related to the topics explored in the interview have been integrated into the Guide, giving individuals and study groups a chance to have "a conversation with the author" as well as an engagement with the text.


PARKER J. PALMER is a highly respected writer, lecturer, teacher, and activist. He is founder and Senior Partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal, which offers long-term retreat programs for people in the serving professions, including teachers, administrators, physicians, philanthropists, nonprofit leaders, and clergy. Author of nine books, including Let Your Life Speak,A Hidden Wholeness,Healing the Heart of Democracy, and The Heart of Higher Education, Palmer has been recognized with thirteen honorary doctorates and a number of national awards. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

MEGAN SCRIBNER is a freelance writer and editor with over 30 years of experience working with a wide range of authors and organizations. She is co-editor with Sam Intrator of the books Teaching with Heart, Teaching with Fire, and Leading from Within, and lives in Takoma Park, Maryland.




PART ONE Guidelines for Individual and Group Study 7

Individual Study 8

Group Study 9

Membership and Leadership

Physical Space

Intellectual Space

Emotional Space

Spiritual Space

Six Paradoxes of Space

The Clearness Committee

Touchstones for Creating Safe Spaces

A Word of Encouragement 19

PART TWO Questions and Activities for Each Chapter 21

I The Heart of a Teacher: Identity and Integrity in Teaching 25

II A Culture of Fear: Education and the Disconnected Life 35

III The Hidden Wholeness: Paradox in Teaching and Learning 45

IV Knowing in Community: Joined by the Grace of Great Things 51

V Teaching in Community: A Subject-Centered Education 59

VI Learning in Community: The Conversation of Colleagues 65

VII Divided No More: Teaching from a Heart of Hope 73

Afterword to the Tenth Anniversary Edition: The New Professional: Education for Transformation 81


A Suggestions for Organizing a Courage to Teach

Book Discussion Group, by David Leo-Nyquist 95

Sample Invitation Letter for a Courage to Teach

Book Discussion Group

Sample Follow-Up Letter for a Courage to Teach

Book Discussion Group

B The Heart of a Teacher: Identity and Integrity in Teaching (an essay from Change magazine that summarizes The Courage to Teach) 101

C The Clearness Committee: A Communal Approach to Discernment 123

D About the Center for Courage & Renewal 143

E The Courage to Teach: A Retreat Program for Personal Renewal and Institutional Transformation, by Parker J. Palmer 147

F Resources for Courage to Teach Discussion Groups 157