Book Review the Skillful Teacher

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Reynaldo S Leoncito
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Book review
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Stephen D. Brookfield
The Skillful Teacher
(On Technique, Trust and Responsiveness in the Classroom) 2nd Edition San Francisco, California
Jossey-Bass
2006
277 pages

On the on-set of the book, the author, Stephen Brookfield in describing the attributes of the ‘skillful teacher’, immediately focused his discussion not with the teacher alone but in his/her relationship with the learners and the goal of the whole processes of teaching and learning. It is not just about the teacher and his/her skill, nor the subject and his/her methodology; it is neither just about the students, their excellence and weaknesses, nor their diversity. Although the learning context, structure and even the organization and institution and its politic create such impact to the whole works of the teacher and the learning; he still did not based his arguments on them alone The author very strongly focused his arguments on the very purpose of the act of teaching that is “to help student learn.” With this in central concern, he then explored the need of the teachers to ‘understand how students are experiencing their learning and then responding appropriately to this information.” With his skillful writing and brilliant mind loaded with rich and honest experiences, he was able to maintain his discussion on the perspective that of the teacher. He became faithful to the concerns of his primary audience. But, I wish to add, it was not a narrow tunnel or very fixed or conservative view of teaching but rather is a very open and relevant and even flexible perception. Unlike the more usual book of how to’s and trait oriented writings (being skillful teacher in this case), he immediately discouraged boxing these good qualities and practices as THE standards. The book, for several instances, destroyed a number of so-called ‘standards’ and general...
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