8. 100 Essential Non-Fiction Books: Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom – bell hooks

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

Bell Hooks is a prolific writer and I could have chosen a whole number of her books to put forward; the reason I have chosen this – is because unlike several of her other books – which are so well known for being black feminist in particular; this book is able to crossover into the realm of also being – a textbook in many ways – or rather, an instructional book for – educationalist – and as somebosy who has worked in the education field for quite awhile now – for me – I was absolutely blown away by its potential. I have no idea if it is actually on the reading list in a sort of – er – graduate programme for PGCE teachers in the UK, or for teachers in the US or anywhere else in the world; this book is essentially about how you take radical critical thought, into formal education spaces – whether it is at the secondary level, whether it is the higher educational level – and the possibilities of that are mindblowing – a lot of us – are of the view – that you can only transgress some of that formality – and some of the strictures that are embedded within formal education outside of those spaces. Be it in the parental home or on the margins – the very idea that you can do that within the classroom is something that is not often looked at. The classroom is often seen as a reproductive space for the status quo – and that is why this book is so powerful and it has gone on to influence me – in the way I put forward some o fmy educational work; so there is a whole area of work around gender responsive schooling for example; she uses the work of Paulo Freire quite a lot – and you can see that – but she takes it a whole, or several steps further. So for me, this is a really powerful book, but again really easy to read – you don’t have to be an educationalist to read it – but it is definitely one that oculd sit there alongside the top – level reading list in any postgraduarte university course for trachers and lecturers. I had to put that there because I think it is one of those books, that many people might not know her for; but I think one of the most practical books she’s got out there.