Chapter 6 – Brookfield’s Skillful Teacher


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In Chapter 6 of Brookfield’s Skillful Teacher (2015), Brookfield states the following five reasons to lecture:

1)    To establish the broad outline of a body of material

2)    To explain with frequent examples concepts that learners struggle to understand

3)    To introduce alternative perspectives and interpretations

4)    To model intellectual attitudes and behaviours you wish to encourage in students

5)    To encourage learners’ interest in a topic

These reasons are all valid points to lecture. I think point five is the hardest as the instructor has the other four reasons to meet in a specific timeline. Trying to encourage learners’ interest is difficult because of the student diversity in the classroom. The topic can be challenging to make interesting such as accounting theory or reconciliation of a bank statement. Some topics can be challenging to be encouraging student interests.

Brookfield describes three characteristics of lectures being helpful. The first characteristic is the use of a variety of teaching and communication process. An example that Brookfield talks about is lecturing from “Siberia”. Brookfield describes areas in the classroom that are dead zones. I can see myself moving to the corner of the classroom to lecture for a short period of time. Students can be bored when I lecture in front of the classroom. Moving to a different part of the classroom changes the delivery of the lecture.

The second characteristic of a helpful lecture is to be clearly organized because students can follow the flow of the lecture. An example that I can is to give clear verbal signals. Students can follow the steps easily. I can also write the list of topics on the white board and place a check mark by the topics covered. As a result, the students can follow the lecture easily.

The third characteristic is to model the learning behaviours that are expected in the classroom. An example that Brookfield discusses is to “deliberately introduce alternative perspectives.” This is a great idea as students can see the value of different viewpoints. Learners can model the expected learning behavior. An example is to discuss how to track money on the financial statements. I can bring the correct way of recording cash in the financial statement to the incorrect way of recording cash in the financial statement.


Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in The Classroom. John Wiley & Sons. p 69-82.


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