- Parker J. Palmer [from the Introduction]
Teachers choose their vocation for reasons of the heart, becausethey care deeply about their students and about their subject. Butthe demands of teaching cause too many educators to lose heart. Isit possible to take heart in teaching once more so that we cancontinue to do what good teachers always do -- give heart to ourstudents?
In The Courage to Teach, Parker Palmer takes teachers onan inner journey toward reconnecting with their vocation and theirstudents -- and recovering their passion for one of the mostdifficult and important of human endeavors.
In Healing the Heart of Democracy, Parker J. Palmerquickens our instinct to seek the common good and gives us thetools to do it. This timely, courageous and practicalwork—intensely personal as well as political—is notabout them, "those people" in Washington D.C., or in ourstate capitals, on whom we blame our political problems. It's aboutus, "We the People," and what we can do in everyday settingslike families, neighborhoods, classrooms, congregations andworkplaces to resist divide-and-conquer politics and restore agovernment "of the people, by the people, for the people."
In the same compelling, inspiring prose that has made him abestselling author, Palmer explores five "habits of the heart" thatcan help us restore democracy's foundations as we nurture them inourselves and each other:An understanding that we are all in this togetherAn appreciation of the value of "otherness"An ability to hold tension in life-giving waysA sense of personal voice and agencyA capacity to create community
Healing the Heart of Democracy is an eloquent andempowering call for "We the People" to reclaim ourdemocracy. The online journal Democracy & Educationcalled it "one of the most important books of the early 21stCentury." And Publishers Weekly, in a Starred Review, said"This beautifully written book deserves a wide audience that willbenefit from discussing it."
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.
The Courage to Teach speaks to the joys and pains that teachers of every sort know well. Over the last 20 years, the book has helped countless educators reignite their passion, redirect their practice, and deal with the many pressures that accompany their vital work.
Enriched by a new Foreword from Diana Chapman Walsh, the book builds on a simple premise: good teaching can never be reduced to technique. Good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher, that core of self where intellect, emotion, and spirit converge—enabling 'live encounters' between teachers, students, and subjects that are the key to deep and lasting learning. Good teachers love learners, learning, and the teaching life in a way that builds trust with students and colleagues, animates their daily practice, and keeps them coming back tomorrow.Reclaim your own vision and purpose against the threat of burn-outUnderstand why good teaching cannot be reduced to technique aloneExplore and practice the relational traits that good teachers have in commonLearn how to forge learning connections with your students and "teach across the gap"
Whether used for personal study, book club exploration, or professional development, The Courage to Teach is rich with time-honored wisdom, and contemporary clarity about the ancient arts of teaching and learning.
From bestselling author Parker J. Palmer comes a brave and beautiful book for all who want to age reflectively, seeking new insights and life-giving ways to engage in the world. “Age itself,” he says, “is no excuse to wade in the shallows. It's a reason to dive deep and take creative risks.”
Looking back on eight decades of life—and on his work as a writer, teacher, and activist—Palmer explores what he's learning about self and world, inviting readers to explore their own experience. In prose and poetry—and three downloadable songs written for the book by the gifted Carrie Newcomer—he meditates on the meanings of life, past, present, and future. “The laws of nature that dictate sundown dictate our demise. But how we travel the arc toward the sunset of our lives is ours to choose: will it be denial, defiance, or collaboration?”
With compassion and chutzpah, gravitas and levity, Palmer writes about cultivating a vital inner and outer life, finding meaning in suffering and joy, and forming friendships across the generations that bring new life to young and old alike.
From Parker Palmer, best-selling author of The Courage toTeach, and Arthur Zajonc, professor of physics at AmherstCollege and director of the academic program of the Center forContemplative Mind in Society, comes this call to revisit the rootsand reclaim the vision of higher education. The Heart of HigherEducation proposes an approach to teaching and learning thathonors the whole human being—mind, heart, and spirit—anessential integration if we hope to address the complex issues ofour time. The book offers a rich interplay of analysis, theory, andproposals for action from two educators and writers who havecontributed to developing the field of integrative education overthe past few decades.Presents Parker Palmer’s powerful response to critics ofholistic learning and Arthur Zajonc’s elucidation of therelationship between science, the humanities, and the contemplativetraditionsExplores ways to take steps toward making colleges anduniversities places that awaken the deepest potential in students,faculty, and staffOffers a practical approach to fostering renewal in highereducation through collegiality and conversation
The Heart of Higher Education is for all who are new tothe field of holistic education, all who want to deepen theirunderstanding of its challenges, and all who want to practice andpromote this vital approach to teaching and learning on theircampuses.
On the Brink of Everything
Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old
From beloved and bestselling author Parker J. Palmer (Let Your Life Speak, The Courage to Teach, Healing the Heart of Democracy) comes a brave and beautiful book of reflections on eight decades of life and work. Reframing aging as “a passage of discovery and engagement,” Palmer says, “Old is just another word for nothing left to lose, a time to take bigger risks on behalf of the common good.”
On the Brink of Everything is not a “guide to” or “handbook for” getting old. Instead, it's Palmer turning the prism of insight on his experience as a way of encouraging readers to do the same with theirs. In elegant prose and lyrical poetry, he offers a set of meditations on the meanings of one's life, past, present, and future. “The laws of nature that dictate the sunset dictate our demise,” Palmer writes. “But how we travel the arc between our own sunrise and sundown is ours to choose: will it be denial, defiance, or collaboration?”
With gravity and levity, compassion and chutzpah, Palmer writes about cultivating a robust inner and outer life, a sense of meaning and purpose amid pain as well as joy, and the intergenerational relations that enhance the lives of young and old alike. Here's a book not only for elders but also for those younger folks we call “old souls.”
And this book sings! It includes three songs by Palmer's longtime friend and colleague, singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer, written in response to themes in the book. At the download site for the songs, Palmer and Newcomer hope to engage readers in an ongoing conversation about what Howard Thurman called “the growing edge” of our personal and public lives.
Ultimately, Palmer sees age as a precious gift: “The fact that I've come this far makes me one of the lucky ones.” Surprised by the fact that he likes being old, he writes, “Welcome to the brink of everything. It takes a lifetime to get here, but the stunning view and the wake-up breeze in your face make it worth the trip.”