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The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life Hardcover – Sept. 5 2017

4.6 out of 5 stars 403 ratings

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From the Publisher

The Courage to Teach Reader's guide
Full title The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life The Courage to Teach Guide for Reflection and Renewal
Edition 20th anniversary edition 20th anniversary edition
Number of pages 288 192
Features New foreword by Diana Chapman Walsh Access to special online videos from the author
Authors Parker J. Palmer Parker J. Palmer with Megan Scribner
Description The special 20th Anniversary edition will be perfect as a gift for new or experienced teachers. A welcome resource for those who wish to extend their exploration beyond just reading the book, individually or within a study group.

Product description

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, Wherever You Go, There You Are, and coauthor, Everyday Blessings

For forty years, Parker J. 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 benefitted 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, and spirit 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 web for themselves.

From the Back Cover


"This is the best education book I've read in a long time. Palmer provides a powerful argument for the need to move from our over-reliance on technique toward a learning environment that both honors and truly develops the deepest human capacities in children and teachers. It's about time we remember that it's the person within the teacher that matters most in education, and Palmer makes the case eloquently."
Teacher Magazine

"If teaching is just a chore, and you are content to just 'do chores,' this book is not for you. You will be challenged to go beyond the minimum and pursue excellence. But rather than approaching teaching as something we just tolerate, Parker Palmer holds out the promise of it being something we can celebrate."
Academy of Management Review

"Parker Palmer is a teacher's teacher, and it is when he writes as a teacher that this book is a remarkably inspiring, almost religious companion for anyone who has taught or might be thinking about teaching as a vocational journey for life.... This book can change your life if you are a teacher."
Religious Education

"Through a series of vignettes, Palmer encourages reflection, and strives to bolster readers' initiative and confidence. The Courage to Teach is an awakening, and a gentle, directive touch that reaches out to teachers of all levels and ages."
Childhood Education

"To go on this journey with Parker Palmer into the uncharted territory of 'the self' in teaching is not only to experience the joy of viewing teaching from a thrilling new perspective. It is also to be in the presence of a great teacher who, by sharing himself so openly and honestly, engages us in the very kind of teaching he so eloquently describes."
Russell Edgerton, former director of educational programs, Pew Charitable Trusts, and past president, American Association for Higher Education

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Jossey-Bass; 3rd edition (Sept. 5 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1119413044
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1119413042
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 490 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.24 x 2.79 x 23.37 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 403 ratings

About the author

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PARKER J. PALMER is a writer, teacher, and activist whose work speaks deeply to people in many walks of life. Author of ten books—including several best-selling and award-winning titles—that have sold nearly two million copies, Palmer is the Founder and Senior Partner Emeritus of the Center for Courage & Renewal. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, as well as thirteen honorary doctorates, two Distinguished Achievement Awards from the National Educational Press Association, and an Award of Excellence from the Associated Church Press. In 1998, the Leadership Project, a national survey of 10,000 educators, named him one of the 30 most influential senior leaders in higher education and one of the 10 key agenda-setters of the past decade. In 2010, he was given the William Rainey Harper Award (previously won by Margaret Mead, Marshall McLuhan, Paulo Freire, and Elie Wiesel). In 2011, the Utne Reader named him as one of "25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.” In 2021, the Freedom of Spirit Fund, a UK-based foundation, gave him their "Lifetime Achievement Award” in honor of work that promotes and protects spiritual freedom. For 20-plus years, the Accrediting Commission for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has given annual Parker J. Palmer “Courage to Teach” and “Courage to Lead” Awards to directors of exemplary medical residency programs. "Living the Questions: Essays Inspired by the Work and Life of Parker J. Palmer," was published in 2005. Born and raised in the Chicago area, he has lived in NYC, Berkeley, CA, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, PA. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
403 global ratings

Top reviews from Canada

Reviewed in Canada on November 17, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

john Lawson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 5, 2022
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5.0 out of 5 stars A reminder to teachers on why we teach
Reviewed in Singapore on February 20, 2021
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2.0 out of 5 stars NICE BOOK
Reviewed in India on February 25, 2022
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Ravi V.
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of gems
Reviewed in India on April 3, 2019
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J Skeen
5.0 out of 5 stars For teachers and learners of all ages
Reviewed in the United States on February 24, 2018
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15 people found this helpful
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