3260 – Chapter of my choice


Brookfield discusses Credibility and Authenticity in his chapter four 2006 book. This is the one chapter that has not changed over the years in his new revisions. It goes on to state that students perceive teachers to have credibility if they have skills, knowledge, insight, wisdom, and information that will benefit them considerably. What is Credibility and Authenticity and how does it apply to teachers?

Authentic is what is real and Credibility is what is accepted as real.

Brookfield explains that Credibility and Authenticity are crucial to the teaching profession. The way credibility is judged by a student is if we know our stuff. Are we able to respond to questions in the moment that are clearly unexpected? By doing so you are demonstrating your knowledge and credibility to the students. We can explain to the students why we do what we do because it provides credibility. As a teacher providing a rationale for your actions cannot be overdone.

Now ask yourself does Authenticity matter? Can you have Credibility without Authenticity? I think Authenticity is the real deal and you need credibility to go with authenticity. In an academic setting authenticity is provided when you have full disclosure of what criteria you are using to assess the students. They need to know and understand your agenda. As Brookfield said, teachers will never strike the perfect balance; however, this does not disqualify us as teachers. What we can do is try and keep the balance by using tools such as the Critical Incident Questionnaires (CIQ’s). CIQ’s are a method for finding out how students are experiencing their learning and your teaching. Students need to see that we are honest and helpful.


Source: Brookfield, S. (2015). The Skillful Teacher On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom. (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Wile