Jared's Reviews > Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher

Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher by Stephen D. Brookfield
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's review
Aug 04, 11

it was ok
Read in August, 2011

Do you want the good news first or the bad news? Ok here's the bad news. The author does not explain how a teacher would be "critically reflective" and still teach his subject matter. He has all of this stuff about critical reflection and at the end of the day I just want to know when the students would ever be taught stuff. He also has disregard for traditional learning models (like the lecture) and is convinced that the democratic model of dialogue, learning journals, and making sure that minorities (racial, and gender emphasized) do not feel left out. On top of that he sometimes adopts a sniveling attitude where he berates himself about his mistakes (he is trying to model openness but I think it sounds sniveling). This guy suffers from "liberal white man" guilt. And in a bad way. My biggest complaint is that all of the stuff he recommends is just not realistic. There is no way any teacher could do all of these things or should do all of the things he suggests. Throughout
the book I rolled my eyes and smirked at the author many times.

Here is the good news. 1. He does a fairly adequate job explaining what critical reflection is. 2. Even if a teacher disagreed with his fundamental ideas many of his methods would be useful. 3. Not all of these need to be done. Anyone with common sense will mix and match them. 4. He claims his book is for adult education but many of his ideas apply to other fields. 5. His writing is easy to understand, and he does not go out of the way to sound smarter then he really is.

I bought this book because I want to teach in South Korea, and I got it at discount price. I am not an experienced teacher, but could tell that doing his whole system probably would not work. But doing bits of his system at different times will probably help reveal faulty assumptions, and bad practices that need to be improved. That is itself makes this book reading.
However you will have to put up with much silliness to get to the treasure.

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