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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.
In his teaching career, Stephen Brookfield has worked in England, Canada, Australia, and the U.S., teaching in a variety of college settings. He has written sixteen books on adult learning, adult teaching, critical thinking, discussion methods and critical theory as well as critical pedagogy. He won the Cyril O. Houle World Award for Literature in Adult Education six times (in 1986, 1989, 1996, 2005, 2011 and 2012), as well as the 1986 Imogene Okes Award for Outstanding Research in Adult 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.
He 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. In 2009 he was inducted into the Adult Education Hall of Fame.