Spring 2018 | CUNY Graduate Center | IDS 70100: Introduction to Queer Studies


The intersections of hooks, Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Teaching to Transgress and the Digital Commons

Expanding on Professor Brim’s post, and in light of our class discussion last week, I find myself contemplating pedagogy and pedagogical practice. Having recently read some of bell hooks’ Teaching to Transgress and Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, I decided to seek out some OER recounting their pedagogical approach. Freire’s work, argues for a pedagogical approach that breaks the teacher-student contradiction and the inherent systems of oppression, or he refers to as “banking concepts,” embedded in education.


hooks, a student of Freire, expands pedagogical practices in her work, Teaching to Transgress, where she underscores the need to practice an “engaged pedagogy;” a pedagogy that is progressive, holistic, committed to well-being and processes of self-actualization.


With these approaches in mind, I circle back to the rhetoric I’ve experienced throughout my own education about moving from being a “consumer of knowledge” to becoming a “producer of knowledge.” These structures and constructs assume that one needs to consume before they produce. Utilizing the CUNY Commons as a platform for knowledge and learning between student and teacher has the capacity to disrupt this system. Having students digitally participate in an open format enables them to become producers while simultaneously being engaged in learning practices inside the classroom. It also has the capacity to enable teachers to learn from students prior to shaping the classroom experience. Despite these positive possibilities, questions still arise about the utilization of digital platforms. Does the CUNY Commons platform enable a true “engaged pedagogy?” Does it foster an experience that can grow in the classroom or does it obstruct learning gained from direct human engagement? Can true transgression be achieved digitally? Do these platforms enable a voice within the “banking system” that would otherwise be stifled or silenced? And last, is there a way to incorporate a platform like the CUNY Commons or WordPress in a way that advances active learning.?


In additions to the links above, I found a panel discussion celebrating the 20th anniversary of Teaching to Transgress hosted by the New School in 2014 available here.

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