Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom

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Overview

"After reading Teaching to Transgress I am once again struck by bell hooks's never-ending, unquiet intellectual energy, an energy that makes her radical and loving." — Paulo Freire

In Teaching to Transgress,bell hooks—writer, teacher, and insurgent black intellectual—writes about a new kind of education, education as the practice of freedom. Teaching students to "transgress" against racial, sexual, and class boundaries in order to achieve the gift of freedom is, for hooks, the teacher's most important goal.

bell hooks speakes to the heart of education today: how can we rethink teaching practices in the age of multiculturalism? What do we do about teachers who do not want to teach, and students who do not want to learn? How should we deal with racism and sexism in the classroom?

Full of passion and politics, Teaching to Transgress combines a practical knowledge of the classroom with a deeply felt connection to the world of emotions and feelings. This is the rare book about teachers and students that dares to raise questions about eros and rage, grief and reconciliation, and the future of teaching itself.

"To educate is the practice of freedom," writes bell hooks, "is a way of teaching anyone can learn." Teaching to Transgress is therecord of one gifted teacher's struggle to make classrooms work.

Widely admired as a leading black intellectual, hooks is also an inspired teacher. Here, she offers her ideas about teaching that fundamentally rethink democratic participation. These essays face squarely the problems of today's classrooms, including racism and sexism. Ms. hooks sees the gift of freedom--the freedom to think critically--as a teacher's most important goal.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"After reading Teaching to Transgress I am once again struck by bell hooks's never-ending, unquiet intellectual energy, an energy that makes her radical and loving." — Paulo Freire

"Passionately defines the Black feminist point of view that needs to be reflected upon in classroom discussions." — Contemporary Education

"Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks is a book that I not only love, but assign every semester to my Introduction to Women's Studies class. It is one of the best descriptions of the purpose and function of education and the educator that I've ever read. And students love it. So if you know any professors or students who aren't familiar with it, recommend it highly." — Feminist Bookstore News


"Teaching to Transgress is useful as a platform for a critique of current notions and practices of teaching and learning." — Canadian Home Economics Journal

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Cultural theorist hooks means to challenge preconceptions, and it is a rare reader who will be able to walk away from her without considerable thought. Despite the frequent appearance of the dry word ``pedagogy,'' this collection of essays about teaching is anything but dull or detached. hooks begins her meditations on class, gender and race in the classroom with the confession that she never wanted to teach. By combining personal narrative, essay, critical theory, dialogue and a fantasy interview with herself the latter artificial construct being the least successful, hooks declares that education today is failing students by refusing to acknowledge their particular histories. Criticizing the teaching establishment for employing an over-factualized knowledge to deny and suppress diversity, hooks accuses colleagues of using ``the classroom to enact rituals of control that were about domination and the unjust exercise of power.'' Far from a castigation of her field, however, Teaching to Transgress is full of hope and excitement for the possibility of education to liberate and include. She is a gentle, though firm, critic, as in the essay ``Holding My Sister's Hand,'' which could well become a classic about the distrust between black and white feminists. While some will find her rejection of certain difficult theory narrow-minded, it is a small flaw in an inspired and thought-provoking collection. Dec.
Library Journal
Feminist writer and English professor hooks shares insights, strategies, and critical reflections on pedagogical practice.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415908085
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 124,671
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

bell hooks is a writer and critic who has taught most recently at Berea College in Kentucky, where she is Distinguished Professor in Residence. Among her many books are the feminist classic Ain't I A Woman, the dialogue (with Cornel West) Breaking Bread, the children's books Happy to Be Nappy and Be Boy Buzz, the memoir Bone Black (Holt), and the general interest titles All About Love, Rock My Soul, and Communion. Her many books published with Routledge include Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom, Belonging: A Culture of Place, We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity, Where We Stand: Class Matters, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope, Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations, and Reel to Real: Race, Sex and Class at the Movies.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Teaching to Transgress

1. Engaged Pedagogy

2. A Revolution of Values: The Promise of Multicultural Change

3. Embracing Change: Teaching in a Multicultural World

4. Paulo Freire

5. Theory as Liberatory Practice

6. Essentialism and Experience

7. Holding My Sister's Hand: Feminist Solidarity

8. Feminist Thinking: In the Classroom Right Now

9. Feminist Scholarship: Black Scholars

10. Building a Teaching Community: A Dialogue

11. Language: Teaching New Worlds / New Words

12. Confronting Class in the Classroom

13. Eros, Eroticism, and the Pedgagogical Process

14. Ecstasy: Teaching and Learning Without Limits

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2000

    Badly Needed Inspiration

    As a high school senior who knows little of feminism and the like, I found ms. hooks to more than acurate on so many levels. This book has deepened my knowlege of what a student and teacher are and the goal of education itself. 'Teaching' has inspired me to be a better student.

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