This is a remarkably thorough and thoughtful book. Though I can’t say many of the concepts or arguments struck me as particularly new, they are presented in a clear and thoughtful manner. What is new here for the veteran educator is a series of practical instruments designed to make it easy for you and / or the teachers you supervise to engage in meaningful and critical reflection about teaching. I also appreciate Brookfield’s definition of critical reflection. He wants us to look beyond the surface question of, “How did that lesson go?” to examine systemic issues that create challenges. He contends that “reflection becomes critical when it has two distinctive purposes. The first is to understand how considerations of power undergird, frame, and distort educational processes and interactions. The second is to question assumptions and practices that seem to make our teaching lives easier but actually work against our own best long-term interests” (8). He wants us to consider our autobiographies as learners, how things look from the students’ perspective, how things look from the perspective of our colleagues, and theoretical literature. Reflection, in Brookfield’s view, is not easy. Nor should it be. Too much is at stake.
I would love to take a class with Brookfield.