Each year at the Teaching Learning Coaching conference, The Instructional Coaching Group presents The Don Deshler Leadership Award to someone who has made a great impact on teaching and education. This award was created to honor Dr. Donald D. Deshler who directed more than 250 research studies while at University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. Among many other accolades, the Council for Exceptional Children named him one of the 10 most influential people in special education in the 20th century.



This year’s winner, Parker Palmer, like Don Deshler, has influenced Instructional Coaching Group’s work both by the impact and beauty of his writing and the warmth and humanity of his character.

We had hoped to be able to have a quick chat to present the award to Palmer, but he was so gracious with his time, he sat down with Jim Knight for a coach’s conversation-style in-depth discussion covering his life’s work in civil rights, his battles with depression, and what he sees as the way forward for people aiming to heal in an ever-divisive world.

We hope you enjoy this illuminating conversation as we celebrate the work of one of the brightest guiding lights to have an impact on the Instructional Coaching Group.