Imperfect Heroes is intended to help teachers flourish during challenging times. The book is written for all educators, but especially those who seek renewal in their ability to help students learn and grow. Included are the inspiring and motivational stories of twelve “Teaching Heroes.” Successful leaders, writers, and artists face challenges strikingly similar to obstacles faced by teachers. Iconic individuals often use life hardships as a springboard to achieve higher levels of effectiveness. Teachers can do this, too.
Personal, career, and relational roadblocks are universal, and much can be learned from how heroes have turned trials into successes. The main idea of this book is that learning about the lives of people different from ourselves can provide large benefits. The application of ideas from new and divergent sources to our teaching practices can result in transformative growth in our ability to help others learn. Teachers can use the hero stories intertwined with classroom examples to gain confidence, motivate students, and renew their commitment to making a positive contribution to the world.
Andrew Barkley is Professor and University Distinguished Teaching Scholar in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University. He has enjoyed teaching at Kansas State University, the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England, the University of Arizona, Quaid-I-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan, and the University of Chicago.
Foreword by Gregory Eiselein
1.Courage from Fear: Muhammad Ali
2.Salvation from Stagnation: Bob Dylan
3.Success from Failure: Mister Rogers
4.Purpose from Doubt: Mother Teresa
5.Anger and Forgiveness: Malcolm X
6.Success under Extreme Conditions: Albert Camus
7.Dignity under Duress: Chief Joseph
8.Challenge and Support: Nelson Mandela
9.Power from Oppression: Mahatma Gandhi
10.Enthusiasm under Adversity: Anne Frank
11.Courage from Conviction: Martin Luther King Jr.
12.Triumph from Pain: Frida Kahlo
About the Author
In a world full of doubt, disease, depression and ignorance, Andrew Barkley has created an island of substantive heroes! Heroes that have enlightened and inspired many generations are reanimated to bring uplifting messages of edification and real tools for education. With appealing prose, Barkley invites us onto his island, introduces us to each hero and presents the lesson engendered by the lives of these legends. Ali, Dylan, Rogers, Joseph, Malcolm X all sing here provoking eager anticipation for the next hero to make their appearance and reenter the world to do battle by our side.
How would knowing about Anne Frank or Bob Dylan make me a better teacher? Through Andy Barkley’s excellent research, juxtapositions and comparisons, you realize that understanding their courage, style, grace, artistry, insight, diligence, ethics... allows you to think about your teaching in light of these qualities. While some chapters got me to re-think how to give a lesson, others got me to think about a lesson from a new vantage. The book is eye opening, and will give you a fresh look at what you do. It is also a fun read and definitely not your ordinary pedagogical companion.
Andy Barkley has created a powerful book that will inspire educators by taking a deep, insightful look into the lives of 12 unique heroes. Teachers are encouraged to mindfully rethink what makes an effective teacher by delving into significant characteristics of each of these role models. Written in a straight forward, easy to comprehend style, this book is a must read for any teacher who wants to consciously elevate his or her own teaching from a basic level to exemplary!
Barkley’s twelve heroes will inspire and open the teaching mind and heart. Educators often find themselves drained and in search of answers and motivation. This book provides the necessary space all teachers need to reflect, think anew, lift their spirits, and ignite their craft.