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Ali Artecki

Lucia Elden
ENG 111
23 October 2015

Unrealistic Engaged Pedagogy

Engaged pedagogy is supposedly when a teacher involves

themselves into the learning of their students, but these teachers
hardly ever exist. The world is filled with terrible professors. bell
hooks, a teacher, writer, and scholar, describes these professors as,
They seemed enthralled by the exercise of power and authority
within their mini-kingdom, the classroom (256). Some teachers like
to overpower their students and do everything they can to make sure
they stay in power. The only way to not be this kind of teacher, according to hooks, is to have
engaged pedagogy with their students.
Engaged Pedagogy according to hooks means, Teachers must be actively committed to a
process of self-actualization that promotes their own well-being if they are to teach in a manner
that empowers students (255). hooks includes a quote by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese
Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist, that helps explains her quote by saying
that if the teacher is unhappy, then they cannot teach people well. This is true because if a teacher
is having a bad day, then the students will not have a good day either. hooks says that when she
was a student it was difficult for her to find one of these kinds of professors because they are so
rare. She feels so strongly about this topic and it is very clear in the way she writes.

The first paragraph of her article, Engaged Pedagogy, says a lot about what she
believes in about education and how the teachers should treat their students. She writes:
To educate as the practice of freedom is a way of teaching that anyone can learn. That
learning process comes easiest to those of us who teach who also believe that there is an
aspect of our vocation that is sacred; who believe that our work is not merely to share
information but to share in the intellectual and spiritual growth of our students. To teach
in a manner that respects and cares for the souls of our students is essential if we are to
provide the necessary conditions where learning can most deeply and intimately begin
hooks writes very simple sentences and turns them into strongly worded sentences that may have
to be read more than once to make sense of it. Starting off her article with this paragraph shows
me that she feels really strongly about this certain way to teach and it draws the reader in and
makes them want to read more to find out why hooks feels so strongly about engaged pedagogy.
In order to achieve engaged pedagogy, the teacher needs to be understanding of the
students and to grow with them. hooks says, I do not expect students to take any risks that I
would not take, to share in any way that I would not share (258). The teacher should be willing
to put themselves in the students shoes and be able to do what is expected of them. Teachers
should also be more caring about their students and be self-actualized. Sadly, there are not very
many professors that are willing to take the same risks that they are forcing the students to take.
Engaged pedagogy helps both the teacher and the student communicate and grow together.
hooks did a really good job on getting her point across by explaining other authors that
created the way she thinks about education, incorporating her own personal experiences to
further build her argument, and describing what teachers are doing and how they should be

teaching correctly. Putting her own experiences of when she was in college and how it was very
rare to find a teacher that had engaged pedagogy shows the reader that it is a real-life issue and
that helps draw the reader in more. hooks also does good comparison between Paulo Freires and
Thich Nhat Hanhs beliefs. However, there could be times when the reader could be confused
because hooks does not define some of the wording that she uses. For example, hooks uses
Engaged Pedagogy, self-actualization, fidelity, liberatory, empower, and inherently in her article
but she does not give an exact definition of what these words mean. Therefore, the average high
school reader might be able to understand the main points but, like me, still be misunderstood
about what hooks means by these words. On the other hand, hooks gives a clear claim that
teachers need to be self-actualized in order to teach students with engaged pedagogy. She makes
several points in her article to uphold that claim, but for some people it might be hard to
understand so hooks should have gave a clear definition of the meaning of the two mainly used
words in her article: Engaged Pedagogy and self-actualization.

Works Cited Page

hooks, bell. "Engaged Pedagogy." Exploring Relationships: Globalization and Learning in the
21st Century. 253-58. Print.