Teaching to transgress : education as the practice of freedom

by Bell Hooks

Paper Book, 1994


In this book, the author shares her philosophy of the classroom, offering ideas about teaching that fundamentally rethink democratic participation. She writes about a new kind of education, education as the practice of freedom. She advocates the process of teaching students to think critically and raises many concerns central to the field of critical pedagogy, linking them to feminist thought. In the process, these essays face squarely the problems of teachers who do not want to teach, of students who do not want to learn, of racism and sexism in the classroom. Teaching students to "transgress" against racial, sexual, and class boundaries in order to achieve the gift of freedom is, for the author, the teacher's most important goal. -- From back cover.… (more)



Call number



New York : Routledge, 1994.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Esmeraldus
It has been a while since I read bell hooks. I first encountered her when I was learning to teach writing as a Master's student. I remember loving her work.

It's only recently that I have been reading the works of the Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, and have found that his way of thinking
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resonates with mine.

When I picked up Teaching to Transgress tonight and began to read, it was easy to slip into hooks's rhythm; she is another writer for whom I have an awesome respect and would love to meet one day. Then I turned a page to discover that her work has been informed by Hanh's.

That explains why she works for me, too. Engaged pedagogy and and engaged Buddhism must fill some kind of need I have.

To educate as the practice of freedom is a way of teaching that anyone can learn. The learning process comes easiest to those of us who teach who also believe that there is an aspect of our vocation that is sacred; who believe that our work is not merely to share information but to share in the intellectual and spiritual growth of our students.

In chapter one, hooks points out that Thich Nhat Hanh's engaged Buddhism is practice in conjunction with contemplation, which is similar to Paulo Friere's "praxis" or combined action and reflection.

*I personally interpret the words "spiritual" and "soul" in a non-theistic way.
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LibraryThing member mariabiblioteca
Just reread this book very thoughtfully and carefully in anticipation of a writing/thinking project this summer. bell hooks is amazing.
LibraryThing member alycias
"Confronting one another across differences means that we must change ideas about the way we learn; rather than fearing conflict we have find ways to use it as a catalyst for new thinking, for growth." -113

I am totally in love with bell hooks. Teaching to Transgress was my reading on the train;
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back and forth on the way to work, where I am more of a teacher than I have ever been. I especially appreciated "Confronting Class," and the reassurances that someone like hooks is thinking about education and sharing her trials and goals.
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LibraryThing member alwright1
This is my first introduction to bell hooks's writing. It's her work on liberation pedagogy, structured as stand-alone essays. There was plenty of food for thought. Especially useful for me in the health disparities curriculum I help teach to high school students every summer.
LibraryThing member kristykay22
Every one of us has been a student, and most of us are also teachers (and still students) even if that isn't our job title. In this books hooks gives us the best kind of theory -- passionate, clear, centered, direct -- and shifts our ideas of what the classroom should be and do. While changing the
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dynamic of the classroom is at the core of the book, in these inter-related essays hooks gracefully and meaningfully weaves in personal experience, trusted sources, race, class, gender, regionalism, and history. While her focus is on the college classroom (and frequently that mid-90s women's studies classroom that is so close to my heart), her lessons apply to parents, librarians, teammates, committee members, and more. And if you are an actual classroom teacher? Then, my friend, let me buy you a copy of this book.
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Original publication date



0415908086 / 9780415908085
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