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Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  351 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
In Teaching Critical Thinking, renowned cultural critic and progressive educator bell hooks addresses some of the most compelling issues facing teachers in and out of the classroom today.

In a series of short, accessible, and enlightening essays, hooks explores the confounding and sometimes controversial topics that teachers and students have urged her to address since the
Published September 1st 2007 by Routledge (first published January 1st 2007)
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Sep 01, 2014 Trevor rated it it was amazing
I really like bell hooks – she is so clear and passionate. While these aren’t the only qualities one needs, they really do go a long way to having me forgive a multitude of other sins. My reading relationship with Malcolm Gladwell is a case in point; although needless to say, I feel I have far more in common with bell than with Malcolm.

And this is such a lovely book about things I’ve been thinking a lot about for quite some time. One of the main things that student teachers worry about is whethe
Aug 04, 2016 Les rated it really liked it
I read this for selfish reasons and am so glad that I did. I needed a refresher in terms of my approach to teaching and more than that, I needed to hear from a black, female intellectual (one who does not apologize for being any of these things) that has instructed at a predominately white college and in a way that prepares her students to be true learners rather than regurgitators of information who are passive listeners (which is academically gross btw). I get two weeks a year to prepare black ...more
Jan 30, 2011 Dominic rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism, teaching
bell hooks is my intellectual crush. She's has the awesome ability to blend progressive ideas, complex theory, good-will, feminism, love of self, and love of learning in all that she has written. Meeting her at an NCTE conference several years ago continues to be an indelible memory in my journey as a thinker, feminist, teacher and man. That she even seemed to be flirting with me as we conversed (at least the complete stranger sitting next to me thought so) stands as a bit of justification that ...more
Taymara Jagmohan
Mar 21, 2012 Taymara Jagmohan rated it liked it
Teaching critical reading isn't the substance that I personally expected, but the logic augmented between the lines was plausible.
There was a lot of racial justice in this one, but I preferred a book that speaks directly about critical thinking rather than racial injustice. What's with the world and justice? Stop fighting for it, and live a decent life; maybe then we'll have a chance at really donating justice to our fellow mates. It's like people fight so much for a win; and they never actuall
I've been thinking a lot about several different topics in this book, the hierarchy between myself and the young people I work with, compassion, the place of love in my work, building trust. bell hooks seemed to read my mind and address all of these issues, and more. Here are a few of my favorite quotes...

"To honor a teacher with reverence does not require subordination. In a democratic society where there is so much emphasis on equality, there is a tendency to forget that inequality does not ne
Erika Barrington
Dec 01, 2010 Erika Barrington rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: kelly
Shelves: crucial
bell hooks writing in this book makes me feel pretty darn inspired.
so many beautiful nuggets.
i think its particularly helpful while you're in some kind of structured program. which i am.
and its suited for folks who already have tons of reading, because the chapters are only a few pages.
i will admit some chapters fall flat for me in comparison to others.
favorites so far though... the crying chapter, the discussion about what it means to be a critical thinker, the democratic education chapter,
Aug 31, 2013 Wendy rated it liked it
I think that this is probably not the ideal place to begin my reading of bell hooks. I guess that this is what happens when you realize one day that you have somehow become a grown up person who calls herself a feminist without reading any bell hooks, and so you hop over to Amazon and grab the first couple of Kindle titles that sound interesting.

Not that this is a bad book by any means. If you do any sort of teaching (and I still do quite a lot of teaching even though "teacher" or "instructor"
Cheryl Beran
The title of this book is Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom. Don't know where the Plantation Culture bit comes from. The copyright is for 2010, so maybe it will change, as it is only 2009. Hooks is a critical race theorist, but I think she is much more than that. Her issues confront race, gender, and class. I liked her ideas of having students write a paragraph and share that writing with others almost every day. It is about helping students with finding their voice.
May 24, 2016 Ale rated it it was amazing
I read this as a part of a teaching assistant position to a sociology class where I had to do other work such as lessons and facilitating conversation. I loved mostly every reading and found each chapter to be relevant in my personal life, my academic career, and my life as an activist. Some of my favorite chapters were on empathy, critical thinking, and talking sex through the lens or Audre Lorde's conceptualization of eroticism as a liberatory practice.
Sep 27, 2012 Melissa rated it liked it
I love bell hooks, but if you want her on education, then Teaching To Transgress is your jam. Lots of repetition from that book to this one, with only moderate elaboration and a few new ideas brought in. But it's still worth a read.
Erin (Brown) Vrugic
Aug 14, 2011 Erin (Brown) Vrugic rated it it was amazing
helps me to re-focus my teaching and remember why i do what i do with all it's challenges.

someone walked away with my book at a teaching seminar, so not able to finish reading this fabulous book. guess that person really needed it.
Jan 05, 2016 Fleur rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, theory
bell hooks is bae, seriously, i love how she thinks and how she conveys her thoughts. The teachings are interesting, clear and well written. I and sure that even though they are mostly about teaching they will also help me as a student. I'm super glad to have read this and can't wait for the next!
Nov 29, 2014 Melissa rated it really liked it
I skipped Teaching Community because I couldn't find it at the library, so I am reading the trilogy a little out of order, but this book, as all of hooks' books, are easy to follow and welcoming, but still demanding. Teaching Critical Thinking is set up differently from Teaching to Transgress in that she wrote commentaries to answer specific questions people had about teaching in general and her teaching, a choice which shows her commitment to conversation, to love, and to listening.

The book de
Oct 11, 2015 Tracy rated it it was amazing
I always go to bell hooks for practical, powerful wisdom about openness in the classroom.

I like to engage the minds and hearts of students by doing simple writing exercises, sentence completions. We might all write a spontaneous paragraph beginning with a phrase like “my most courageous moment happened when…” Or we might bring a small object to class and all write a short paragraph about its value and importance. (20)

When students learn about one another through the sharing of experience, a foun
Jun 01, 2010 Kb rated it it was amazing
About 30 brief essays on topics ranging from Engaged Pedagogy to Spirituality to Conflict. This book, however, does not lend itself to mass consumption. Right off the bat, Hooks drops you into the world of imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, and I suspect those without a certain amount of preparation will be put off by it. Also, Hooks writes from the perspective of a college professor, so the lower the grade level, the less this may resonate, with the exception of Hooks' chapter ...more
bell hooks is a prolific author who writes on a wide range of topics for teaching to feminism to racism to sexuality to critical thinking and beyond. This book is a collection of 32 essays (or teachings as she calls them) answering many of the questions that have been posed to here by readers and listeners over the years. While some of the essay are insightful and brilliant, others seem to rehearse old arguments. hooks knows she has a following and this book is really written to that group and s ...more
Robert Wood
Aug 18, 2016 Robert Wood rated it liked it
Largely a sequel to her earlier text on teaching, Teaching to Transgress, Teaching Critical thinking largely explores similar themes as the earlier text, although with less emphasis on the concept of multi-culturalism, which had become a less significant framework by the time of the publication of this book. It's largely a quick and informal read, with a focus on hooks' reflections on her experience as a teacher and as a student. There is a little overlap with the earlier book, but there is stil ...more
Haley Pritchard
Jan 10, 2016 Haley Pritchard rated it really liked it
Had a few more generalizations than I would have preferred, but at the same time hooks is always open about the fact that she's drawing from her personal experience. Would highly recommend to friends interested in teaching or higher education. Found it generally instructive in terms of how to have healthy, productive/constructive conversations from places of difference, especially difference related to gender and blackness/whiteness - would recommend it to anyone for this reason, especially as i ...more
Aug 30, 2016 Ale rated it really liked it
Building off the first two other books, hooks continues to explore key ideas, experiences and struggles in the teaching profession, humanizing the student and the professor alike and advocating for practices motivated by love and compassion for a deeper and richer learning experience by all parties present in and out of the classroom. Slightly repetitive of past essays.
Jul 28, 2014 Nicole rated it it was amazing
bell hooks is often quoted in my department. I have been teaching for eight years, and while I did not feel like I learned very much from reading this book, that is only because these are already things I try to embrace in my classroom thanks to the awesome teacher community I am surrounded by.

This was our 2014 department summer read.

Laurel L. Perez
Feb 21, 2016 Laurel L. Perez rated it it was amazing
bell hooks, we can move mountains if we keep after it. If you teach, I hope you read this. If you work with people, children, teens, adults, I hope you read this. This is the kind of practical wisdom that agitates that we have talk about some issues at all, and the kind of wisdom that gives you hope in the dark.
Feb 14, 2016 Terry rated it did not like it
This book dealt with the issues of race, class and power as critical thinking tools. There are useful insights here, but the author defines the playing ground and tools in a way that forces the reader into an intellectual straight jacket. There is little room for discussion, argument or compromise here.
Sahar El
Apr 04, 2015 Sahar El rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theory
I really enjoyed the series of short teachings that bell hooks presents in this book. An enjoyable and informative read for anyone who wants to increase student participation and engagement in the classroom.
Erik Orrantia
May 28, 2012 Erik Orrantia rated it it was amazing
A powerful, concise book that touches a wide range of topics in a way that is unafraid of majority thinking. It is a reflection of real, heart-felt, learned experience, and a call to challenge those social paradigms that seek to oppress. I highly recommend it.
Nadine K
May 25, 2015 Nadine K rated it it was amazing
bell hooks speaks to my soul. In an intelligently simple way she conveys the idea of being a critical thinker and inspiring your students to be one also. Her understanding of society and her personal stories make her arguments ring sharp and true. Excellent read for the critical thinker educators.
Marc Medley
Apr 27, 2010 Marc Medley rated it it was amazing
I heard author Bell Hooks on WBAI 99.5 FM and immediately went out and purchased the book. I've just started reading the book; however, I can tell by the table of contents that it is going to be a good read (no pun intended).
Sep 01, 2014 Dani rated it it was amazing
The way I feel when I read bell hooks is the way I feel when I read Augusto Boal. She inspires and excites the teacher-me.
Anna Bongiovanni
Apr 04, 2016 Anna Bongiovanni rated it it was amazing
So practical! So good! So useful for anyone who teaches and needs a recharge or needs to be re-energized!
Lisa Phillips
Mar 23, 2013 Lisa Phillips rated it really liked it
The book contains short, useful, and insightful essays about teaching critical thinking to resistant audiences.
Mar 12, 2012 Teddi rated it it was amazing
All teachers should read this trilogy if they are serious about social justice in the classroom. I put together a whole presentation of quotes from this dynamic work for PD on critical thinking.
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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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“Patriarchy has no gender.” 54 likes
“Knowledge rooted in experience shapes what we value and as a consequence how we know what we know as well as how we use what we know.” 24 likes
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