It takes courage to engage in the kind of deep, transformational learning that so many people need in their lives, and this book is designed to help find and nurture that courage in learners, including those that are engaged in facilitating the courageous learning of others. Inspired by Parker Palmer’s classic book, The Courage to Teach, the authors have carefully examined the learning side of the teaching and learning relationship, and this book shares the resulting wealth of knowledge and experience with readers.This book is informed by Palmer’s observation that the conversations in teaching can be organized around four questions: what, how, why and who. In this book, the authors center learning instead of teaching as they ask: What is the content of learning? How do we learn? Why is it necessary, what motivates us? And, who is the self that learns?The authors have engaged in conversation with adult learners across the lifespan, representing different ages, social/economic levels, and approaches to learning. Drawing on these discussions, their own experiences, and the scholarly literature, they weave a tapestry with threads of learning and teaching, story, and analysis that serve as warp and weft. The authors pay tribute to the learner’s journey in the fullness of the process and name the distinct forms of courage that learning takes. In the concluding chapter, the authors explore the implications for educational practice, and offer guidance for any educator wishing to bring a Courage to Learn conversation to their community.
“Not long after I published The Courage to Teach (1997), people started saying, ‘Now we need a book about the courage to learn.’ It’s taken twenty-five years, but it was well worth the wait. This beautiful and important book by three gifted teachers is rich with insights into the way we experience various approaches to learning—insights that can help all of us who labor in these vineyards become better teachers and learners. The authors lift up learners’ voices that are so often missing when we educators talk with each other about the art and craft of pedagogy. The result is invaluable guidance on how we can enrich the learning environment for a wide range of participants. Equally valuable is their guidance and modeling of how we can renew our own courage to learn. Please read this book. You, and those in your care, will be glad you did.”
Parker J. Palmer, author of The Courage to Teach, Let Your Life Speak, and On the Brink of Everything