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Parker J. Palmer

Parker J. Palmer is a writer and traveling teacher whose latest book is The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life (Jossey-Bass). He serves as senior advisor to the Fetzer Institute and as senior associate of the American Association of Higher Education.

— From September 1998
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Grace Of Great Things

Reclaiming The Sacred In Knowing, Teaching, And Learning

Community goes far beyond our face-to-face relationship with each other as human beings. In education especially, community connects us with what Rilke called “the grace of great things.” We are, in reality, in community with the genes and ecosystems of biology, the great questions of philosophy and theology, the archetypes of literature, the artifacts of anthropology, the materials of engineering, the logic of systems and management, the shapes and colors of art, the patterns of history, the elusive idea of justice under the law — we are in community with all these great things. Great teaching is about knowing and feeling that community, and then drawing your students into it.

September 1998
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