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Teaching Community

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  823 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
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, ...more
Hardcover, 218 pages
Published August 29th 2003 by Routledge (first published November 30th 2002)
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Adding the quotes I noted for my own reference here (private notes section was too small).

(xv) definition of dialogue: "both sides are willing to change" - Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhan Hanh

(22) "my commitment to radical openness and devotion to critical thinking... was at odds with the demands that I uphold the status quo if I wanted to be rewarded"

(27) "It is as though the very act of thinking about the nature of race and racism is still seen as 'dirty' work best suited for bl
Oct 16, 2008 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: communicators/teachers/believers
Recommended to Amanda by: catalog
"Learned helplessness is necessary for the maintenance of dominator culture" This was my first book by bell hooks. I may be hooked. This was really the summary of everything I have been thinking about lately. Teaching, anti-racism, anti domination cultures. She also references Thich Naht Han who touched me after only a small dose of writing. I'm moving towards acceptance of the spiritual as part of the cure.

The book is about how academia upholds tha status quo. How dissident voices are needed as
Meg Petersen
Jun 20, 2012 Meg Petersen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Parts of this were out of this world good; some slightly less. The chapter on sexual relations with students pushed me out of my comfort zone... Loved the perspective on racism and the academy.
Feb 13, 2008 Owen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, really, but see above for more
Recommended to Owen by: Bilen
I highly recommend this book to anyone who teaches or facilitates and anyone interested in deconstructing racism. It is so important. I wish I had read this years ago, before entering any learning environment as a teacher/facilitator.

This book shows how teaching can work to make learning a more human process, one that challenges and works to end racism, white supremacy and sexism. While bell hooks attempts to make the book accessible to any audience, it is still very academic, but her free flow
Nov 23, 2009 Jesse rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
A perplexing book-- if you look at it as a collection of essays, it makes more sense, but taken together it's a bizarre reading experience.

One of the reasons for this is that this is without a doubt the single most poorly copy-edited book I have ever read. It's hard to get through more than a few pages at a time without stumbling across a howler of a grammatical or sentence error that an editor has let stand. From time to time these errors are sneaky, but mostly they're glaring and obvious, inte
Jan 08, 2014 Lance rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have so much to say about this book!

As a youth organizer, I'm just beginning to learn what it means to frame my work as educational in nature. This book gave me lots to think about, regarding the connection between education and community-building.

bell hooks seems to be in such a different place, at the writing of this book, compared to some of her her earlier works. I guess evolution is a sign of growth and consistent investment, though, right?

hooks gives a lot of emphasis to the value of c
Jan 10, 2011 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a pedagogy proper but a loose collection of essays, 'Teaching Community' addresses the progressive potential of cultural studies, her experience of black womanhood in a white society, the tricky nature of white allyship, spiritual and 'death-aware' education, the effect of shaming on the performance of students of color, and her own educational experiences under Jim Crow. The writing is plain to the point of feeling clunky at times, and the book could stand editing (there's a chapter on her ...more
Apr 15, 2008 Lenore rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: college-teaching
Another text I'm teaching. Not nearly as good as _Teaching to Transgress_, unfortunately. It's a good example of what Flower refers to as "writer-based prose." Hooks takes a lot of dense theoretical concepts and fails, in some cases, to provide a clear context for her readers, in this case, my students. She references Palmer a lot, too. In retrospect, I wish I would've chosen his text rather than hers. Still a fan of hooks, though!
Oct 27, 2016 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first bell hooks text and won't be my last. hooks is brilliant. I caught myself shouting "yes" aloud and impassionedly numerous times while reading pieces on race and intersectionality. As a recent grad unsatisfied with her education, her critiques of the university system, including a remark on the way universities put an emphasis on the future instead of allowing students to embrace learning in the present, also resonated with me.
Jan 01, 2017 Keira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book by bell hooks. She covers a lot of topics (racism, sexism, standing up against dominator ideology in the classroom, and more), all interwoven into a piece about how education must come from a place of love. When education happens from a place of love, in or outside of the formal classroom, it leaves us open to communication, to change. At least, that is the main idea I got from this.
Michael Mccombs
sometimes a title is enough. teaching community? how does one teach something that informs such a large part of individual identity...after all, we're already communities of people, families, belly-button possessors, happy, wait, hooks defines community in the postmodern sense of what most of us, especially urbanites, lack. here, the same old culprits of advanced industrialism, meritocracy, identity politics, and cultural tradition conspire together to fracture our sense of selves, ...more
Apr 07, 2016 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read parts of this book over the years but never the whole at one sitting. I found that the book as a whole reads very differently, or more accurately the reader's stance is different. Instead of approaching it in a pressured, pragmatic, consumerist way as a teacher seeking to teach better, I experienced the book as a deeply personal encounter--the essays feel like talks, at close range. As in all her work, bell hooks brings herself into her narrative, never shy about implicating her own fr ...more
Aug 04, 2010 Suzette rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pedagogy
though i was sometimes frustrated by the sometimes repetitive nature of the book (i guess it's not meant to be read cover to cover), and the typos (!!!), this book has me thinking and thinking and thinking. especially about the place of spirituality in teaching. as a teacher with a spiritual and religious life, i often lament my inability to bring that to my learning community. i'm not at all interested in indoctrination or in teaching students about the particulars of my religious tradition. mo ...more
Chesapeake Bae
The title led me to believe that this book was about teaching community in a classroom, however I found that so much of bell hooks writing is also about The teaching community itself. for that I am very grateful.

the beginning chapters are a recipe for what works in a classroom, creating the best conditions for learning to happen. That includes: a desire to learn in all aspects of life and throughout the day, not just in a confined space or time; a pedagogy of mind-body liberation instead of indo
Jul 05, 2016 Ehcooper123 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For those well-versed in hooks, this book will not disappoint. In fact, it serves as a practical guide to applying some of hooks philosophy around power, race, and gender. For those starting out in education and community building, this book provides insight into how to navigate the nuances of race/gender relations in a way that is both critical and empowering to those oppressed by these systems. If the reader has privileged status, this book also discusses the importance of a humble stance and ...more
Oct 10, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
It's weird that I haven't read any bell hooks, and I'm not sure (even among her titles on teaching) that this was the best place to start only because so much of what she says here has been so fully internalized into my own experiences as a teacher and student in the past decade that it felt less revolutionary than it might have when this book first came out in 2003. The various crises that have hit (and continue to impact) the higher ed community since then have made apparent what hooks signals ...more
Rev. Sharon Wylie
Anyone teaching in any context should read this book. If nothing else, it's a great memoir from a dynamic teacher with lots to say and reflect on about teaching and its role in our lives.

But what I love about bell hooks is the readability of her writing at the same time that she is thinking about really profound and complex things (like the intersections of race, class, and gender, and how these play out in our classrooms). She's an optimist. She's a pragmatist. She's sure of herself. She's hone
May 29, 2009 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: patriarchy, racism
bell hooks is brilliant, there's no doubt. that brilliance shines through in this book, as in all of hers. nevertheless, i was a little disappointed by Teaching Community, because despite the awesome name, there is not much here about actual TEACHING. it's mostly about being a university professor, which i'm not. i've heard good things about her Teaching to Trangress, and i also need to read Pedagogy of the Oppressed... democratic education models are badly needed in this country, especially in ...more
Jan 25, 2014 Silke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, my goodness! If ever there were a feminist pedagogue I'd like to meet and to hear speak in person, I would put bell hooks at the top of my list. Her writing about pedagogy, feminism, anti-racism work, and spirituality enhances and echoes much of what I have read of Parker Palmer's body of work on wholeness, education, democracy, and community, but she does so from her own, unique perspective of a radical, black feminist. I think the book has a little something for most everyone, even if not ...more
Sep 25, 2009 ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book starts off with a meandering autobiographical part that was off-putting, since I wasn't particularly interested in the last 10 years of the author's life. However, the middle and later chapters contain some excellent analysis of race, power, and morality issues. My biggest complaint (and this is not a fault of the book per se) is that it focuses almost entirely on higher academia and is not addressed toward youth education at all.
Sep 30, 2008 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great resource for educators, organizers, activists. Validates radical openness and embraces Frierian understanding of horizontal power and fearlessness about loving your community and breaking down manufactured boundaries in the classroom or elsewhere that perpetuate patriarchal power dynamics. An inspiring liberating read, and one (for me) rather surprising and provocative chapter and personal revelation that I'm not sure where to land on....
Dec 19, 2008 Danielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot about teaching, love, and tolerance from this book. A lot of the ideas present in this book can also be found in Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of Freedom. The later chapters are easier to understand if you have some understanding of Taoism or yoga training... but they are accessible to others as well.
There are some grammar issues throughout that probably just missed the editor's eye, but they don't detract from the overall message of the book.
Liz Murray
I'm not writing this review fresh and I don't have it on hand so the review might be a bit sparse. As an educator I find her work essential reading. She challenges long-held beliefs at the same time as she informs our pedagogical heart. hooks taps into what keeps us teaching, what draws us in to the profession and what keeps us there.
Jun 11, 2007 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This cannot be one of hooks’ best efforts (I’ve only read thoroughly All About Love, which is a great book). It is meandering and poorly edited (I’ve never seen so many typos in a published work). BUT it awoke in me a sense of my own spirituality and renewed my zeal for teaching (mostly by connecting the two). I can’t say that I would recommend it to others, but I got a lot out of it.
Oct 27, 2007 Randi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was feeling very angry at the energy in a class of mine last week, and decided to take it as a challenge. I read some more of this book and felt inspired to discuss ideas of community, race, humanity and peace with my class. We had one of the best classes yet! All thanks to bell and her hope.
Nov 08, 2014 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Academics who use shaming to crush the spirit of students who challenge and interrogate all they are learning, the environments in which they come to learn, and the teachers whose classrooms they enter, are engaged in forms of emotional violence."
Sep 23, 2007 Bart rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A remarkably disappointing "sequel" to Teaching to Transgress, Teaching Community brings bell hooks addresses education as hippie. Yes, love is important, but much of this book was just meaningless rhetoric. Also, spirituality is not for everybody.
What I appreciated most was when she got really specific about her own experiences with teaching -- what was hard about it & what lessons she learned. What I was frustrated by was when she got vague and meandering. I don't think this is her best book, but worth a read.
This is one of the most beautiful books on radical critical pedagogy. The love of community in the classroom and investing in students' engagement with a class. hooks is very inciteful of where she sees the vision of education and waht we need to work toward as educators-students.
Jess Haggerty
While this book had some great information in it, I was much more impressed with Teaching to Transgress. This book focuses a lot on race and diversity as being crucial parts of building a community. Some great points, especially about the mind-body split that is expected in academia.
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Bell Hooks (born Gloria Jean Watkins) is an African-American author, feminist, and social activist. Her writing has focused on the interconnectivity of race, class, and gender and their ability to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and domination. She has published over thirty books and numerous scholarly and mainstream articles, appeared in several documentary films and participated in ...more
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“Dominator culture has tried to keep us all afraid, to make us choose safety instead of risk, sameness instead of diversity. Moving through that fear, finding out what connects us, revelling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer, that gives us a world of shared values, of meaningful community.” 68 likes
“To build community requires vigilant awareness of the work we must continually do to undermine all the socialization that leads us to behave in ways that perpetuate domination.” 60 likes
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