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)