Stephen Brookfield on Experience

I thought I’d post this fragment from  The Getting of Wisdom: What Critically Reflective Teaching is and Why It’s Important by Stephen Brookfield*. I like the way he explains how it is the depth of one’s experience that counts, and not the length.

Length of experience does not automatically confer insight and wisdom. Ten years of practice can be one year’s worth of distorted experience repeated ten times. The ‘experienced’ teacher may be caught within self-fulfilling interpretive frameworks that remain closed to any alternative interpretations. Experience that is not subject to critical analysis is an unreliable and sometimes dangerous guide for giving advice. ‘Experienced’ teachers can collude in promoting a form of groupthink about teaching that serves to distance themselves from students and to bolster their own sense of superiority.

*The Getting of Wisdom: What Critically Reflective Teaching is and Why It’s Important, Stephen Brookfield, From Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1995 (Forthcoming)

8 thoughts on “Stephen Brookfield on Experience

  1. Hi Adrian
    What’s creating the confusion for me is that you say, ” I thought I’d post this fragment from The Getting of Wisdom: What Critically Reflective Teaching is and Why It’s Important by Stephen Brookfield. I like the way he explains how it is the depth of one’s experience that counts, and not the length.” But I didn’t find this particular quotation in the above mentioned chapter that I accessed online. Please clarify.
    thanks and best
    tara

    1. Hi, I’ll reply here to your last two comments. It’s not the book chapter, the book was not out then. It’s from an article with the same name. Just checked, here’s the explanation underneath the title & author:

      The Getting of Wisdom: What Critically Reflective Teaching is and Why It’s Important
      Stephen Brookfield
      From Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1995 (Forthcoming)

      I’m trying to anticipate your next question about the article’s location. It was provided in pdf format by the university as part of a course.
      Edit: thanks for pointing out that there’s a confusion. I’ll edit the post with the accurate source.

      1. Thanks for response to my two questions and the one for the third anticipated question. Indeed you have preempted that question from me!!!
        Really grateful for all the clarifications you have offered.
        Best
        Tara

  2. Is the above quotation from Brookfield, S. (2004) The Getting of Wisdom: What Critically Reflective Teaching is and Why It’s Important ? I checked and didn’t find it in that . Please give me the full reference for the above mentioned quote you have presented from Brookfield
    Thanks and best
    tara

    1. Tara, hi, I checked my references.
      Brookfield, S. (1995). The Getting of Wisdom: What Critically Reflective Teaching is and Why It’s Important. In Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. Jossey-Bass.

      1. Thanks Adrian for the reference. Can you provide the page number from which you picked up this quotation?
        Thanks again
        Tara

      2. One more question Adrian. Is “The Getting of Wisdom: What Critically Reflective Teaching is and Why It’s Important” , a full chapter of Brookfield’s 1995 book , “Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher”? If so, what is the chapter number?
        Thanks for your patience.
        tara

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