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"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 speaks 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.

From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"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

About 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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4.8 out of 54.8 out of 5
641 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

T
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent Reading for Educators
Reviewed in the United States on May 22, 2019
Anyone interested in education should probably read this. hooks incorporates insights from her time as a student and her time as a teacher. She is one of the few writers I''ve encountered who seriously considers class (in addition to gender and race) in education and... See more
Anyone interested in education should probably read this. hooks incorporates insights from her time as a student and her time as a teacher. She is one of the few writers I''ve encountered who seriously considers class (in addition to gender and race) in education and academia. If you worry that inclusive pedagogy shuts down or limits dialogue in the classroom, this book should help soothe you.

I share the worry of certain critics here about needlessly complex language in academic work, but I really didn''t see any of it in here.
12 people found this helpful
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mariluna5
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beautiful expression of the joys in teaching to learn freely.
Reviewed in the United States on June 5, 2020
Beautiful expression of the joys in teaching to learn freely. We need to be self-actualized in order to help students find their journey to self-actualization. I don''t see myself as being self-actualized. Can we ever reach that in one lifetime? But the fact that that... See more
Beautiful expression of the joys in teaching to learn freely. We need to be self-actualized in order to help students find their journey to self-actualization. I don''t see myself as being self-actualized. Can we ever reach that in one lifetime? But the fact that that journey is central to my life and that I express this to my students makes a difference. This book is so lovely. What a joy it would be to take a class from the author. Her writings here have affirmed my decisions these past years to open up the learnng experience.
3 people found this helpful
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Itai Cardona
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Itai Cardona highly suggests this book
Reviewed in the United States on April 6, 2017
bell hooks is an amazing writer. Some of the chapters in this book will make you think, cry, pray, and work for a better tomorrow. While her focus is on the African-American community, one can apply what is learned from this book to any culture, minority, classroom, or... See more
bell hooks is an amazing writer. Some of the chapters in this book will make you think, cry, pray, and work for a better tomorrow. While her focus is on the African-American community, one can apply what is learned from this book to any culture, minority, classroom, or group. An absolutely wonderful and easy read. You will not want to put this one down!
9 people found this helpful
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Leif
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Favorite Book of all time
Reviewed in the United States on August 1, 2020
Okay, so I''m biased and love everything bell hooks does, but this book is great. I bought it to read before I started graduate school for Teaching, and it helped me think more critically about many aspects of teaching. hooks'' writing is also just very frank and a little... See more
Okay, so I''m biased and love everything bell hooks does, but this book is great. I bought it to read before I started graduate school for Teaching, and it helped me think more critically about many aspects of teaching. hooks'' writing is also just very frank and a little sarcastic, and feels more like a conversation than a lecture. Love it!
One person found this helpful
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Shelly Kay
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Page printing out of order.
Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2020
I love Ideas and books and often collect them long before I make time to read them. That habit has never been a problem, before this purchase. I picked up Teaching to Transgress after it sitting on my bookshelves for a year or more. I love the content. But it’s a... See more
I love Ideas and books and often collect them long before I make time to read them. That habit has never been a problem, before this purchase. I picked up Teaching to Transgress after it sitting on my bookshelves for a year or more. I love the content. But it’s a frustrating read because the pages are NOT in chronological order. A reader needs some predictability. At first, I thought it was just a few pages. However, the mismatch order of pages occurs throughout.

#disappointed #frustratedreader
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J. Siri
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Must read
Reviewed in the United States on August 15, 2019
It really makes you think about yourself and your practices. My only thing is it seems to group everyone that isnt white as people of color which feels like it disregards all other demographics. However, the book is talking about african american experience so I wont take... See more
It really makes you think about yourself and your practices. My only thing is it seems to group everyone that isnt white as people of color which feels like it disregards all other demographics. However, the book is talking about african american experience so I wont take it against the book.
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violetcherry
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Seminal text for educators
Reviewed in the United States on March 2, 2021
I adore bell hooks'' texts and philosophical writings and this book is one of my favorites. Her ideas have shaped the world of teaching, at every level and this is required reading for any educator.
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J24
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Amazing Read
Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2019
I loved this book when I first read it years ago, and rereading it helped me continue to reflect in new ways. Unlike many academic books, it was such a pleasure to read.

I highly recommend the work of bell hooks, including her children''s books!
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Top reviews from other countries

Barbara Silcox
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beautifully written
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 1, 2020
Beautifully written and a deep and honest teaching biography by a woman of colour which really gives you an insight into her experiences, barriers and journey. Inspirational.
One person found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 30, 2016
Another great bell hooks book! Perfect for anyone working in education.
4 people found this helpful
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Ms. S. Lea
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Old but good
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 30, 2013
Bell Hooks is probably one of the most interesting and accessible writers on education as a practice of freedom - every teacher and every student should read this book at least once a year!
3 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 13, 2017
A must have
3 people found this helpful
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Ed Drummond
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 25, 2015
Perfect Xmas gift
One person found this helpful
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