“We teach who we are.”

palmerI spent most of the last decade in the company of people who are passionate about the art and science of teaching. It was wonderful. Looking back, one of the ideas that still resonates with me came from Parker J. Palmer’s The Courage to Teach. His approach stands out because he doesn’t focus on technique, research, or technology but rather on something alien to academic culture: developing self-awareness. He advocates doing the difficult work of opening yourself to reflection, which is risky “in a profession that fears the personal and seeks safety in the technical, the distant, the abstract.” (12)

Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Imprint: 2007), 1.

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2 Responses to “We teach who we are.”

  1. The concept of professional refinement by developing self awareness has a broad application for entrepreneurs, healers, and many other professions.

    • Kate Stover says:

      I agree! In fact, his Center for Courage & Renewal (www.CourageRenewal.org) works with people from a wide range of professions. In addition to developing self-awareness, their goal is to connect “the inner life of heart, mind and spirit with the outer life of work and service in the world.”

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