Friday, March 27, 2009

The Courage to Teach by Parker J. PALMER

"Knowing is how we make community with the unavailable other with realities that would allude us without the connective tissue of knowledge. Knowing is a human way to seek relationship and, in the process, to have encounters and exchanges that will inevitably alter us. At its deepest reaches knowing is always communal." (p. 54)

Knowing is synonymous with learning, as we grow as a community, we understand cooperative group interaction. Palmer guides individuals to understand their integrity and identity, and how these elements apply to the aspect of community overall. The Courage to Teach breaks down the successes and failures of procedure and practice, while providing ground notes for physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual spatial requirements.

The literature is successful in its approach because it shows Palmer's ability to be a "...good teacher, not limited to technique..." (p.10) Through his exploration of teaching styles and accommodating various learning abilities, Palmer's search for a "mentor", inspired his thought to become a mentor, inevitably progressing towards the publication of such a learning tool. A learning tool that gives voice to both students and professionals, assisting with the understanding and enactment of positive group interaction. Following the basis for group dynamics, Palmer suggests to maintain boundaries of space, keeping the floor open to all participants, and deal with conflict creatively.

Applying the overall concepts obtained from the text read, helps our studio to practice and initiate beneficial interaction, in return we will flourish into professionals capable of pro-active listening, intimate teaching, and most importantly the ability to combine the two by "...hearing people to speech..." (p.47 ) The most prominent example of these qualities in action would be our meeting with the first year students earlier this semester. The experience overall displayed our ability to teach through action, and express our past experiences through the learning of others. "...As we learn more about who we are, we can learn techniques that reveal rather than conceal the personhood from which good teaching comes." (p. 25)

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