Ten years ago, bell hooks astonished readers with Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. Now comes Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope – a powerful, visionary work that will enrich our teaching and our lives. Combining critical thinking about education with autobiographical narratives, hooks invites readers to extend the discourse of race, gender, class and nationality beyond the classroom into everyday situations of learning. bell hooks writes candidly about her own experiences. Teaching, she explains, can happen anywhere, any time – not just in college classrooms but in churches, in bookstores, in homes where people get together to share ideas that affect their daily lives.
In Teaching Community bell hooks seeks to theorize from the place of the positive, looking at what works. Writing about struggles to end racism and white supremacy, she makes the useful point that “No one is born a racist. Everyone makes a choice.” Teaching Community tells us how we can choose to end racism and create a beloved community. hooks looks at many issues-among them, spirituality in the classroom, white people looking to end racism, and erotic relationships between professors and students. Spirit, struggle, service, love, the ideals of shared knowledge and shared learning – these values motivate progressive social change.
Teachers of vision know that democratic education can never be confined to a classroom. Teaching – so often undervalued in our society — can be a joyous and inclusive activity. bell hooks shows the way. “When teachers teach with love, combining care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect, and trust, we are often able to enter the classroom and go straight to the heart of the matter, which is knowing what to do on any given day to create the best climate for learning.”
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