For the second year in a row, Dr. Stephen Brookfield, Distinguished Professor in the College of Education, Leadership and Counseling, has won the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education’s Cyril O. Houle World Award for Literature in Adult Education. Brookfield won for his book Teaching for Critical Thinking: Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question Assumptions.

This marks the first time anyone has won the award two consecutive years.

Dr. Stephen Brookfield

Dr. Stephen Brookfield

The award honors annually a book published in English in the previous year that reflects universal concerns of adult educators. It is considered the most important award for scholarship in the field of adult education because the books are evaluated and voted on strictly by peers.

He also won the award in 1986, 1989, 1995, and 2004, and last year, 2011, for Radicalizing Learning: Adult Education for a Just World, which he co-wrote with fellow CELC professor Dr. John Holst.

Brookfield will be presented with the award Nov. 8 at the AAACE Awards dinner/annual conference in Las Vegas.

Despite his past success, Brookfield was surprised to learn he had won this year’s award and wasn’t aware he had been nominated.

“What’s really special about winning the award this time is the fact that the book deals with how to teach critical thinking − so I feel it meshes beautifully with what our mission at St. Thomas states we are all about. I’ve also been running faculty development workshops based on the book, so it’s nice to get external validation that this is a good piece of work. To be honored by your peers with the World Award for Literature is wonderful, and it makes all those lonely hours in front of a computer terminal worth it,” he said.