✭ [PDF] ✪ Teaching to Transgress By bell hooks ✺ – Golanvideoagency.info
This book renewed my passion for teaching, especially in light of the constant rhetoric of adult education existing to create an efficient economic pipeline It reminded me at a critical time that I am not the only one who believes education of marginalized people can and should be something I found that hooks had articulated many things I felt experienced but could not name, which proves her point about the power of theory Chapter 3 in particular is critical reading for anyone teaching in a multicultural setting Through stories and dialogue, hooks explores how the intersection of theory, identity, teaching, and injustice is experienced in postsecondary classrooms She offers a theoretical framework practical skills that she has successfully used to create an engaging, inclusive classroom My one warning is that as a pioneer in stepping out from behind the podium, hooks approach feels incomplete I think teachers can do beyond just transforming content or teaching methods by designing learning that helps students focus apply their reflections skills to their own context, which hooks confesses having struggled with However, this does not diminish the fact that hooks offers an important critical historic perspective in an extremely easy to read format. In Teaching To Transgress, Bell Hooks Writer, Teacher, And Insurgent Black Intellectual Writes About A New Kind Of Education, Educations 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 GoalBell 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 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 Critical Questions About Eros And Rage, Grief And Reconciliation, And The Future O Teaching Its Self To Educate As The Practice Of Freedom, Writes Bell Hooks, Is A Way Of Teaching That Any One Can Learn Teaching To Transgress Is The Record Of One Gifted Teacher S Struggle To Make Classrooms Work From The Back Of The Book Some of the earlier essays felt too academic and jargony, but I think this book is a must read for all teachers It made me change the way I think about the classroom, my role in it, and about how power works in those spaces There was one particular essay that I loved about the false dichotomy between theory and practice She pushes back against activists who say that they have no time for theory and that they would rather just do the work She says, essentially, that we are all operating under some theory even when we don t talk about it So in order to perform the work better, we need to engage with the theory as well That seems right to me There were many passages in here that I think I will keep thinking about not just as a teacher, but as a person who is interested in ideas. The academy is not paradise But learning is a place where paradise can be created The classroom, with all its limitations, remains a location of possibility In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labor for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress This is education as the practice of freedom. Que livro maravilhoso.Encontrei, nas reflex es de hooks, eco das minhas paix es, motiva es, temas e problemas durante o of cio de professor Fiquei profundamente emocionada com a leitura amorosa cr tica que a autora faz da obra do Paulo Freire Um livro para todo mundo que , foi ou pensa em ser professor Reflex es ensa sticas sobre educa o, transgress o e a t o dif cil mas ensin vel quero crer que sim pr tica da liberdade.Que saudade que esse livro me deu da sala de aula 3 Overall, a quite stimulating read The first few essays somewhat less so partly because I am not American, and haven t lived there , but starting with the fifth essay, quite a lot of what hooks talks about resonated The overall theme is rethinking education practices for teachers , and one s own expectations and behavior stance as a student, given that both contribute to the environment and atmosphere of the classroom, influencing how and what we learn by which I mean both the material you read and discuss, and the group and interpersonal dynamics that are produced and reproduced how teachers and students treat one another, how the issue of power is handled, how much room there is for different viewpoints, and how class expectations feature in, when it comes to the question what kind of behavior and viewpoints are deemed acceptable, and which are taboo.To give you a sense of the kinds of things hooks draws attention to, and her writing style, I d like to cite her at some length, before adding brief thoughts of my own Firstly, I d like to draw your attention to a point she makes related to the issue of who gets to speak, and how that opportunity to speak is created, as I d never seen anyone make this point, even though the behavior she s commenting on back in around 1994 has by now become quite pervasive Responding to an academic and teacher decrying attempts by minority students to silence those who have a different background, hooks writes According to Fuss, issues of essence, identity, and experience erupt in the classroom primarily because of the critical in put from marginalized groups Throughout her chapter, whenever she offers an example of individuals who use essentialist standpoints to dominate discussion, to silence others via their invocation of the authority of experience, they are members of groups who historically have been and are oppressed and exploited in this society Fuss does not address how systems of domination already at work in the academy and the classroom silence the voices of individuals from marginalized groups and give space only when on the basis of experience it is demanded She does not suggest that the very discursive practices that allow for the assertion of the authority of experience have already been determined by a politics of race, sex, and class domination Fuss does not aggressively suggest that dominant groupsmen, white people, heterosexuals perpetuate essentialism In her narrative it is always a marginal o the r who is essentialist Yet the politics of essentialist exclusion as a means of asserting presence, identity, is a cultural practice that does not emerge solely from marginalized groups And when those groups do employ essentialism as a way to dominate in institutional settings, they are often imitating paradigms for asserting subjectivity that are part of the controlling apparatus in structures of domination Certainly many white male students have brought to my classroom an insistence on the authority of experience, one that enables them to feel that anything they have to say is worth hearing, that indeed their ideas and experience should be the central focus of classroom discussion The politics of race and gender within white supremacist patriarchy grants them this authority without their having to name the desire for it They do not attend class and say, I think that I am superior intellectually to my class mates because I am white and male and that my experiences are much important than any other group s And yet their behavior often announces this way of thinking about identity, essence, subjectivity W hile I, too, critique the use of essentialism and identity politics as a strategy for exclusion or domination, I am suspicious when theories call this practice harmful as a way of suggesting that it is a strategy only marginalized groups employ My suspicion is rooted in the awareness that a critique of essentialism that challenges only marginalized groups to interrogate their use of identity politics or an essentialist standpoint as a means of exerting coercive power leaves unquestioned the critical practices of other groups who employ the same strategies in different ways and whose exclusionary behavior may be firmly buttressed by institutionalized structures of domination that do not critique or check it At the same time, I am concerned that critiques of identity politics not serve as the new, chic way to silence students from marginal groups.Fuss makes the point that the artificial boundary between insider and outsider necessarily contains rather than disseminates know ledge While I share this perception, I am disturbed that she never acknowledges that racism, sexism, and class elitism shape the structure of classrooms, creating a lived reality of insider versus outsider that is predetermined, often in place before any class discussion begins There is rarely any need for marginalized groups to bring this binary opposition into the classroom because it is usually already operating They may simply use it in the service of their concerns Looked at from a sympathetic standpoint, the assertion of an excluding essentialism on the part of students from marginalized groups can be a strategic response to domination and to colonization, a survival strategy that may indeed inhibit discussion even as it rescues those students from negation.More succinctly put, if people weren t raised and trained to be sensitive to attempts to claim the conversation, such attempts which are so jarring to white people when minorities make use of them wouldn t work, and those minorities wouldn t have picked up those strategies by osmosis, from living in a society in which hierarchy and exclusion are the norm in the first place People adopt strategies because they work for them, at least most of the time And if others using said strategies annoys you, then that s a good indication you should avoid making use of it yourself and if it is unclear how you are, ask others for feedback, so you can learn from that.Essay 7 is about feminist solidarity what that might mean, and how we can get there In it, hooks discusses some of the history and consequences of the fact that the academic feminist movement long mostly ignored questions of class and race, focusing on the issue of middle class white women s role in the subjugation and repression of black women especially And she points out that this silence made and still makes it hard for lower class and minority women to take feminism seriously, as it did not and as far as I can tell by and large still doesn t deal with those issues As an aside, the historical discussion hooks offers, provides a nice illustration of a number of points Corey Robin talks about in his introduction to The Reactionary Mind Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin In it, he both illustrates how pernicious and strong the belief in the rightness of hierarchy as an organizing principle is, and points out that slavery was purposely democratized in the antebellum South precisely to give poor whites a stake in slavery, by giving everyone a taste of rule Hooks discussion of how this affected the relationship between white women and their servants forms an interesting illustration of how that worked on the ground.This relates to a last point hooks raises, namely that if one wants to succeed and be accepted in college and university especially when hooks wrote this , it is nearly required to adopt most middle class bourgeois values, attitudes, mannerisms, and to some extent even speech patterns and that the values that you have to adopt and that are considered the norm tend to make it harder to have discussions about politically sensitive topics, because of how central being perceived as nice and reasonable , and how accepted tone policing and other attempts to silence are Significantly, feminist classrooms were the first spaces in the university where I encountered any attempt to acknowledge class difference The focus was usually on the way class differences are structured in the larger society, not on our class position Yet the focus on gender privilege in patriarchal society often meant that there was a recognition of the ways women were economically disenfranchised and therefore likely to be poor or working class Often, the feminist classroom was the only place where students mostly female from materially disadvantaged circumstances would speak from that class positionality, acknowledging both the impact of class on our social status as well as critiquing the class biases of feminist thought.When I first entered university settings I felt estranged from this new environment Like most of my peers and professors, I initially believed those feelings were there because of differences in racial and cultural background However, as time passed it was evident that this estrangement was in part a reflection of class difference At Stanford, I was often asked by peers and professors if I was there on a scholarship Underlying this question was the implication that receiving financial aid diminished one in some way It was not just this experience that intensified my awareness of class difference, it was the constant evocation of materially privileged class experience usually that of the middle class as a universal norm that not only set those of us from working class backgrounds apart but effectively excluded those who were not privileged from discussions, from social activities To avoid feelings of estrangement, students from working class backgrounds could assimilate into the mainstream, change speech patterns, points of reference, drop any habit that might reveal them to be from a nonmaterially privileged background.Of course I entered college hoping that a university degree would enhance my class mobility Yet I thought of this solely in economic terms Early on I did not realize that class was much than one s economic standing, that it determined values, standpoint, and interests It was assumed that any student coming from a poor or working class background would willingly surrender all values and habits of being associated with this background Those of us from diverse ethnic racial backgrounds learned that no aspect of our vernacular culture could be voiced in elite settings This was especially the case with vernacular language or a first language that was not English To insist on speaking in any manner that did not conform to privileged class ideals and mannerisms placed one always in the position of interloper.Demands that individuals from class backgrounds deemed undesirable surrender all vestiges of their past create psychic turmoil We were encouraged, as many students are today, to betray our class origins Rewarded if we chose to assimilate, estranged if we chose to maintain those aspects of who we were, some were all too often seen as outsiders Some of us rebelled by clinging to exaggerated manners and behavior clearly marked as outside the accepted bourgeois norm During my student years, and now as a professor, I see many students from undesirable class backgrounds become unable to complete their studies because the contradictions between the behavior necessary to make it in the academy and those that allowed them to be comfortable at home, with their families and friends, are just too great.Often, African Americans are among those students I teach from poor and working class backgrounds who are most vocal about issues of class They express frustration, anger, and sadness about the tensions and stress they experience trying to conform to acceptable white, middle class behaviors in university settings while retaining the ability to deal at home Sharing strategies for coping from my own experience, I encourage students to reject the notion that they must choose between experiences They must believe they can inhabit comfortably two different worlds, but they must make each space one of comfort They must creatively invent ways to cross borders They must believe in their capacity to alter the bourgeois settings they enter All too often, students from nonmaterially privileged backgrounds assume a position of passivity they behave as victims, as though they can only be acted up on against their will Ultimately, they end up feeling they can only reject or accept the norms imposed up on them This either or often sets them up for disappointment and failure.I found it a very fruitful read and if these things strike you as worthwhile topics to think about, do pick it up yourself Even though the book was written in 1994, and we re now than 20 years a full generation further down the road, a lot of the issues she mentions have gotten worse rather than better, because of impoverishment of much of the population on the one hand, and the cuts to the educational system on the other. This is the first book of hooks that I ve read a collection of stand alone essays in which she reflects on the concept of pedagogy as liberation Essay collections are almost always a mixed bag and there are some in here that didn t work for me the one that s structured as a dialogue between her and her writing pseudonym, or the rather uncomfortable one on eros in the classroom that one needed a lot of teasing out and consideration of agape, philia, storge, and a hell of a lot nuance and acknowledgement of the power differentials and potentials for abuse within what she s advocating Yet there are other essays here which are powerful and sadly still relevant than twenty years after the collection was first published Definitely recommended for those doing work in the college classroom. Sometimes you read a book that manages somehow to articulate intuitions you ve always had And sometimes that book goes a step further, and challenges your view of the world or your understanding of your place in it Three things in particular I will take from this book 1 education as the practice of freedom is actually education as a process of self actualization, 2 coming to critical awareness can be a painful process there is always conflict in spaces of unlearning, and 3 with critical awareness, must come praxis, that is, action and reflection what good is critical awareness if we do not immediately put that awareness to work in the world This is a powerful book Definitely re readable. Whew This book is magnificent If you re into critical feminist pedagogy this truly is a must read Unlike Pedagogy of the Oppressed, hooks writes in a way that s accessible and understandable a point she discusses I wish sleeping with this under my pillow would allow her wisdom to permanently make home in my brain and in result my teaching practice I m a listener by nature, but the way she spoke about race and whiteness calls even a deeper sense of listening within me I highlighted the hell out of this and am even tempted to make print outs of quotes and put them all over my office. A great book that really makes you think about your role as a student or a teacher in the classroom There were times that Ms hooks words made me uncomfortable because of the truth they carried At times I do feel that the I know and learn about feminism, the less I can enjoy certain things It s not because I don t consider myself a feminist but because so many people engage in offensive, degrading behavior and expect to be rewarded for it Unlearning sexism and racism can result in a painful process, but the rewards are plentiful.