Learning Through Dialogue: The Relevance of Martin Buber's Classroom

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9781475804386: Learning Through Dialogue: The Relevance of Martin Buber's Classroom

Educational practice today often fails to make the crucial distinction between learning as an accumulation of information and learning as a dialogical interaction that elicits one’s personal response to the material. Learning Through Dialogue offers an alternative approach to teaching and learning, which utilizes Martin Buber’s dialogical principles: turning toward, addressing affirmatively, listening attentively, and responding responsibly. The book first presents Buber’s educational theory and method and second presents specific examples of how Buber’s dialogical philosophy can be applied in the classroom. Rather than imposing one’s own views, this approach enables teachers and students to develop course content in uniquely appropriate ways. If you are a teacher, a student, an educator at any level, or anyone interested in furthering his or her ability to engage more meaningfully with the educational process, this book will challenge you with fresh perspectives.

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About the Author:

Kenneth Paul Kramer is professor emeritus of comparative religious studies at San Jose (CA) State University, where he taught from 1978 to 2001. Among his works, he has published Martin Buber’s I and Thou: Practicing Living Dialogue (2003) and Martin Buber’s Spirituality: Hasidic Wisdom for Everyday Life (2012).


In his previous book, Martin Buber’s I and Thou, Ken Kramer explains the complex thought of Buber to a lay audience better than anyone I have seen or read. In his new book, Learning Through Dialogue: Understanding Martin Buber’s Classroom, Kramer shows himself as an experienced and first-rate teacher, reflecting on his thirty years of teaching, showing how to teach dialogically, and illuminating the processes of teaching and learning as well as the thought of Martin Buber. By describing his efforts to create a more dialogical climate in the classroom, he shows us all how to become more dialogical in our everyday lives. (Kenneth Cissna, Professor Emeritus and Editor, Qualitative Communication Research, University of South Florida)

Kenneth Kramer breathes life into Martin Buber’s educational philosophy in this well written, intellectually engaging, and pedagogically useful book. Learning Through Dialogue not only conveys complex ideas with clarity and vitality, it proposes practical ways to think about the fundamental role of dialogue in teaching and learning. Kramer has crafted a primer for current and future teachers to awaken them to the multiple relational opportunities present in classrooms. (Susan Verducci Sandford, professor of Humanities at San José State University and editor of Democracy, Education and the Moral Life)

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