The Faculty Fellows lead semester-long, weekly book discussion groups on topics in teaching and learning. Previous book selections have included Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander & Benjamin Zander, and In Defense of a Liberal Education by Fareed Zakaria.
If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating – by Alan Alda
The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life – by Parker Palmer
“This book is for teachers who have good days and bad — and whose bad days bring the suffering that comes only from something one loves. It is for teachers who refuse to harden their hearts, because they love learners, learning, and the teaching life.” — Parker J. Palmer [from the Introduction]
For many years, Parker Palmer has worked on behalf of teachers and others who choose their 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 benefited from his approach in THE COURAGE TO TEACH, which takes teachers on an inner journey toward reconnecting with themselves, their students, their colleagues, and their vocations, and reclaiming their passion for one of the most challenging and important of human endeavors.
This book 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, in community with their students and their subject. They possess “a capacity for connectedness” 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. The connections made by good teachers are held not in their methods but in their hearts — the place where intellect, emotion, spirit, and will converge in the human self — supported by the community that emerges among us when we choose to live authentic lives.