Book Reviews

Book by Margaret Golden (Ed.)
Review by John Gipson
Student Information and Services Center
Grand Valley State University

Teaching and Learning from the Inside Out: Revitalizing Ourselves and Our Institutions consists of nine chapters that revolve around Parker Palmer’s Circle of Trust® approach.  Palmer’s approach is a holistic method for encouraging student development, advancing K-12 education, and fostering successful working environments.  Within each of the nine chapters, authors detail personal experiences with utilizing the Circle of Trust® approach. 

Faculty and academic advisors working within the field of education may benefit most from this text, due to the majority of chapters focusing on K-12 education.  Chapter seven, Lessons Learned from Transformational Professional Development, may be particularly helpful to faculty members providing professional development for K-12 teachers and school leaders.  Chapter six, The Role of Identity in Transformational Learning, Teaching, and Leading, would be useful for faculty members wishing to include transformational learning as a component of one’s curriculum.  Advisors may also benefit by learning of numerous real-life difficulties teachers face in the field, as well as strategies to overcome them. 

Although the book is primarily focused on K-12 education, academic advisors may find Teaching and Learning from the Inside Out: Revitalizing Ourselves and Our Institutions to be particularly useful when working with Millennials.  Due to being highly sheltered by parental figures, DeBard (2004) states that Millennials count on authority figures to make decisions in regards to one’s life.  Utilizing the Circle of Trust® approach during advising helps overcome this belief system by encouraging advisors to “listen deeply and ask questions that help others hear their own inner wisdom more clearly” (p. 8).  The approach also assumes that individuals do not have specific answers for someone else’s life. 

Many administrators will find chapter two, Soul and Role Dialogues in Higher Education: Healing the Divided Self, to be extremely valuable in maintaining an effective and productive workforce by honoring diverse needs.  The author describes that one’s soul is not always incorporated within one’s role at an institution.  Soul-role dialogues and incorporating stories of the divided self, among other things, are outlined within this chapter as ways to overcome this divide and maintain positive-minded employees. 

I believe Teaching and Learning from the Inside Out: Revitalizing Ourselves and Our Institutions benefits academic advisors, but I would not place it within my top ten reads relating to advising.  The holistic approach has the ability to improve office environments and increase student development.  However, the book highly focuses on K-12 education and may be best suited for faculty and staff within that field.


Teaching and learning from the inside out: Revitalizing ourselves and our institutions (New Directions for Teaching & Learning #130). (2012). Book by Margaret Golden (Ed.), Review by John Gipson. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 117 pp. Price $, ISBN # 0271-0633

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