Palmer noted community was not traditionally valued in objective based education. Palmer believed community is useful as students seek meaning with the resulting transcendent communal greater than sum of its parts. Community may be based on the student, teacher, patient/family, school/institution, community, nation, or world.
As a macro theory, Palmer’s theory is not as amenable to testing and empirical work. However, his theory has fulfilled the primary purpose of a theory: to generate knowledge. His theory has been applied in several settings previously described. Palmer is often cited often in educational works. His theory is well supported with level IV evidence obtained from case studies. A review of the literature revealed the previously described generous sampling of case studies supporting the theory.
Theory Scope and Complexity
Palmer’s theory is a macrotheory, explaining the concept of community in broad terms and considering the human being in totality. The substantive focus addresses many problems in education. The application of the theory in interdisciplinary education demonstrates transferability. This theory is not limited to student–teacher interactions, but may be applied by administrators.
One of Palmer’s earliest works was The Promise of Paradox: A Celebration of Contradictions in the Christian Life which was first published in 1980 and reissued in 2008. Thi...
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...ntrator and Scribner published Teaching with Heart: Poetry that Speaks to the Courage to Teach, a collection from ninety teachers describing the complex of emotions and experiences of the teaching life.
In closing, since Palmer’s theory was published in 1998, it has been widely accepted by teachers, students, and schools. Palmer’s theory requires minimal investment of money, but requires time and effort. Palmer’s theory intuitively resonates with teachers whose actions have far reaching effects. Parker (2015c) wrote his words are not his legacy, as they are inert and a legacy is a living thing. He described his legacy as a shared legacy. Ever the teacher, he sees his role as offering ides for others develop visions and make the world a better place. He values the way people have put his words into action in communities, institutions and the larger society.
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