Teaching To Transgress is a book like no other in the fields of education, social and cultural studies, and pedagogy. Part personal narrative and part revolutionary manifesto, author bell hooks offers a unique perspective to educators.
The author takes from her own life experiences as a black feminist and scholar to provide this gentle yet blunt point of view. Tales of race and education intertwine to show teachers that the most effective form of education occurs when they can connect to their students on a cultural level.
The Mere memorization of facts is no longer enough. hooks suggests that conformity in schools, too, should not be passed on or tolerated. Instead, educators should cater to their pupils by understanding them on their level, not just academically, but also culturally.
The author recounts of her interactions with her sister and other family members and acquaintances in her childhood. Each of these instances helped to form her revolutionary approach to teaching.
Though full of valuable insight, this so-called Bible of education is not a dry read. Its text is formed through a blend of literary formats including personal essays, narrative recounts, and even a fictional interview with the author’s younger self. Through flowing, gentle yet succinct prose, bell hooks makes the case that a teacher’s worth and penchant for difference lies in how willing she is to understand her students ‘individual stories and shortcomings.