"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 the record of one gifted teacher's struggle to make classrooms work.
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.)