Parker Palmer on the Heart of a Teacher


What is at the core of an exceptional teacher? Is it innate skills? In-depth knowledge? Infinite wisdom? Parker Palmer’s book, “The Courage to Teach,” proposes a different philosophy: the foundation for good teaching is built upon the identity and integrity of the teacher. This means that in order to teach well, teachers must have the courage to know themselves, and show themselves, in the classroom. “Good teachers are authentically present in the classroom and are able to weave a complex web of connections between themselves, their subjects, and their students, helping their students weave a world for themselves.” It’s an art, rather than a science, a concept that’s often reversed in today’s teaching methods. In this adaptation from the book’s first chapter, Parker introduces us to the inner landscape of a teacher’s life, a necessary first step in exploring what is at the heart of a teacher.

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