The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom – Book Review

According to the author, The Skillful Teacher is a Survival Manual for teachers. Stephen has used his own experiences of forty five years of his teaching. He talks about dilemmas, problems and contradictions teachers face in their
work. This book will help the teachers who are struggling, confused do not know what to do next as a teacher. The author has analysed how it is like to be a teacher and how a teacher should deal with himself/herself, with students and with the work place.

The author points out that today’s classes are diverse and teaching has become a messy business for teachers in terms of moments of unexpected surprises, risks and shocks. He argues that being a skillful teacher means muddling through classroom moments and negotiating with above mentioned situations. Then he introduces four core assumptions by arguing that teaching is a process of informed muddling through complex and unexpected situations.

Skillful teaching is helping student to learn, critically reflective stance of their practice, knowing how students are experience their learning and how they understand the teacher and treating college students as adults.

Stephen has used examples to explain the readers to show how to put them into practice according to the appropriate classroom situations. Later on chapters he writes about teaching students to think critically, how to learn to think critically and introducing scenario analysis technique.

I find this book is useful for me to equip myself as a teacher. Personally, I learnt many practical approaches on how to survive, solve, stand and react in the class room as a teacher. Skillful Teacher book is simple to read and practical to understand. The author’s purpose of writing this book have been met by helping and guiding teachers to muddling through in the classroom. Therefore, I recommend this not just for teachers in the higher education level but also for the teachers who are teaching in classrooms.


Author: Stephen D. Brookfield
Publisher:  Jossey-Bass (March 9, 2015)
Edition: 3rd Edition
ISBN-10: 1118450299
ISBN-13: 978-1118450291