Stephen Brookfield

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Stephen Brookfield
Liverpool, England
AwardsCyril O. Houle World Award for Literature in Adult Education (six times)
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Leicester, UK
ThesisIndependent Adult Learning (1980)
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of St. Thomas, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
Main interestsAdult education

Stephen Brookfield (born 1949 in Liverpool, England) is a scholar in adult education who holds the John Ireland Endowed Chair at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Before that he was a Professor of Higher and Adult Education at Columbia University in New York for ten years. During 2002 he was a Visiting Professor at Harvard University.


Brookfield earned his Ph.D from the University of Leicester in 1980.[1]


In his teaching career, Brookfield has worked in England, Canada, Australia, and the United States, teaching in a variety of college settings. He has written seventeen books on adult learning, adult teaching, critical thinking, discussion methods and critical theory as well as critical pedagogy.


Brookfield has three honorary doctor of letters degrees; from the University System of New Hampshire in 1991, from Concordia University, St. Paul (St. Paul, Minnesota) in 2003, and from Muhlenberg College in 2010. He won the Cyril O. Houle World Award for Literature in Adult Education six times (in 1986, 1989, 1996, 2005, 2011 and 2012),[2] as well as the 1986 Imogene Okes Award for Outstanding Research in Adult Education, all awarded by the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education. His work has been translated into several languages including Korean, German, Finnish, Japanese and Chinese. In 2001 he received the Leadership Award from the Association for Continuing Higher Education (ACHE) for "extraordinary contributions to the general field of continuing education on a national and international level", and in 2008 he was awarded the Morris T. Keeton Award for Contributions to Adult and Experiential learning, awarded by the Council for Academic and Experiential Learning. In 2009 he was inducted into the International Adult Education Hall of Fame.

Selected bibliography[edit]


  • Brookfield, Stephen (1980). Independent adult learning (Ph.D. thesis). University of Leicester, UK. OCLC 57138050. Pdf.
  • Brookfield, Stephen (1984). Adult learners, adult education and the community. ISBN 0-335-10409-6.
  • Brookfield, Stephen (1985). Self-directed learning: from theory to practice. ISBN 0-87589-743-6.
  • Brookfield, Stephen (1986). Understanding and facilitating adult learning: a comprehensive analysis of principles and effective practices. ISBN 9781555423551.
  • Brookfield, Stephen (1987). Developing critical thinkers: challenging adults to explore alternative ways of thinking and acting. ISBN 9781555420550.
  • Brookfield, Stephen (1988). Training educators of adults: the theory and practice of graduate adult education. ISBN 0-415-00564-7.
  • Brookfield, Stephen (1988). Learning democracy: Eduard Lindeman on adult education and social change. ISBN 0-7099-5017-9.
  • Brookfield, Stephen (2006). The skillful teacher: on trust, technique and responsiveness in the classroom (2nd ed.). ISBN 9780787980665.
  • Brookfield, Stephen (1995). Becoming a critically reflective teacher. ISBN 9780787901318.
  • Brookfield, Stephen; Preskill, Stephen (2005). Discussion as a way of teaching: tools and techniques for democratic classrooms. ISBN 9780787944582.
  • Brookfield, Stephen (2005). The power of critical theory: liberating adult learning and teaching. ISBN 9780787956011.
  • Brookfield, Stephen; Hess, Mary (2008). Teaching reflectively in theological contexts: promises and contradictions. ISBN 1-57524-284-2.
  • Brookfield, Stephen; Preskill, Stephen (2009). Leading as a way of learning: lessons from the struggle for social justice. ISBN 9780787978075.
  • Brookfield, Stephen; Sheared, Vanessa; Scipio III, Colin; Peterson, Elizabeth; Bailey, Juanita Johnson (2010). Handbook of race and adult education. ISBN 9780470381762.
  • Brookfield, Stephen; Holst, John (2010). Radicalizing learning: adult education for a just world. ISBN 9780787998257.
  • Brookfield, Stephen (2011). Teaching for critical thinking: helping students question their assumptions. ISBN 9780470889343.
  • Brookfield, Stephen (2013). Powerful techniques for teaching adults. ISBN 9781118017005.
  • Brookfield, Stephen; James, Alison (2008). Engaging imagination: helping students become creative and reflective teachers. ISBN 9781118409473.

Chapters in books[edit]

  • Brookfield, Stephen D. (2013), "Helping children to stand up to society: critical challenges and culture jamming", in Wild, Jim, Exploiting childhood: how fast food, material obsession and porn culture are creating new forms of child abuse, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, pp. 164–177, ISBN 9780857007421.

Journal articles[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]