Bell Hooks: Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom

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In her book Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, Bell Hooks depicts the

classroom as a source of constraint on one hand but, also as a source of liberation on the other (hand).

She points out that teachers’ use of power and control makes students lose interest in a subject or topic

and she also goes on to recommend that universities encourage students and teachers to transgress, and

seek ways to use collaboration to make learning more relaxing and exciting.

Most of Bell Hooks' teachers were black women who she feels had a specific mission. They were

committed to their jobs, preparing their pupils to become scholars and or thinkers;

she refers to them as ‘‘black folks who used our minds’’ and they were primarily her motivation

to become a teacher and a writer. Bell Hooks transferred to an integrated school that was the complete

opposite of her first school and while there she was confronted with an institution of all-white teachers

who she judged were not interested in transforming the minds of their pupils but simply transferring

irrelevant bodies of knowledge. She writes that the knowledge they were supposed to soak up bore no

relation to how they lived or behaved. ‘’Bussed to white schools we soon learned

that obedience, and not zealous will to learn, was what was expected of us’’.

Too much eagerness to learn was regarded as something that could easily be seen as a threat to white

Authority.

Concerning Bell Hooks’ idea of education being a practice of freedom I agree with her but before

I get carried away there’s a simple question I’d like to ask the reader; what does she mean by this

statement? I believe that by saying that education should be a practice of freedom Bell Hooks means that

it should more interaction and no programming. I will use a particular movie from 2004 as an example.

‘’I,Robot ‘’ was the name of the movie and you may or may not be...
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