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Stephen D Brookfield

Professional Background

Educational Background

B.A., Lanchester Polytechnic Institute; M.A., Reading; Ph.D., Leicester.

Scholarly Interests

Selected Publications


Adult Learning: An Overview
In A. Tuinjman (ed.) (1995). International Encyclopedia of Education. Oxford, Pergamon Press.

An Agenda for Research and Policy
In A. Tuinjman (ed.) (1995). International Encyclopedia of Education. Oxford, Pergamon Press.

The Getting of Wisdom: What Critically Reflective Teaching is and Why It's Important
From Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1995.

Self-Directed Learning, Political Clarity and the Critical Practice of Adult Education
Adult Education Quarterly, Volume 43, No. 4, 1993.

Storming the Citadel: Reading Theory Critically
From Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1995.

Contesting Criticality: Epistemological and Practical Contradictions in Critical Reflection
"Abstract: Being critical is not an unequivocal concept. It is, rather, a contested idea. How the terms critical or criticality are used reflects the ideologies of the users."

Summary of Racializing the Discourse of Adult Education
Harvard Educational Review, Winter 2003.

Life Long Learning - A Global Colloquim
From the Open University website.


New Interview with Stephen Brookfield
From OLA Media Project: Documenting adult learning events with audio and video.

Teaching and the Adult Student
From Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at Iowa State University.

Interview: Sorting Out Experience
From National Teaching & Learning Forum: Jan 1996, Vol 5, No 2.

office hours

By appointment only

ORLD 4815: Developing critical thinkers

This workshop will explore answers to questions concerning facilitating adult learning. Presentations from the workshop leader will be interspersed with small group exercises focusing on different approaches to helping adults learn. Participants will be encouraged to explore their own experiences as learners and facilitators and to consider how these experiences might help them to reframe their practice.

ORLD 4844: Helping adults learn

In this course, participants will explore the ways in which adults learn critical thinking and they will experience different techniques to teach critical thinking. Exercises to be reviewed will include: Scenario analysis, heroes and villains, crisis decision simulation and critical incidents. The course will mix presentations by the leader with small group exercises.

ORLD 4850: Discussion as a way of teaching

Discussion is one of the most frequently used teaching methodologies in higher and adult education today. This 2-day workshop explores the rationale for the use of discussion, examines some of the most frequently used discussion approaches, and investigates the use of discussion in specific teaching contexts. It is based on Stephen Brookfield (the workshop leader) and Stephen Preskills book Discussion as a Way of Teaching, a 1999 Educational Studies Association Critics Choice.

ORLD 5815: Critical theory and adult learning

In this workshop, participants examine major figures in the critical theory tradition. The implications of the ideas of notable individuals such as Marcuse, Fromm and Foucault are considered as they relate to adult learning and the practice of adult education.