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Lens Claim, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Hooks main claim in her essay is one arguing that education should be a practice that brings freedom in an individual’s life. She gives her education life as one marred by challenges. Her earlier schooling geared her towards freedom, but this hope came to a halt when she entered the white school where knowledge was about information alone and nothing else. She found her graduate classes boring and education seemed a banking system. Hooks wanted to be a critical thinker, which sounded a threat to the authority. It was an unfair education as white male students received favor.  The authorities did not want them to conform like the rest- white females and all the blacks.

Hook reacted to apathy and boredom in her classes by imagining ways to make different learning and teaching experience (Hooks 297). She found indispensable guide in the work of Paulo Freire, a Brazilian thinker. When Hook began teaching, she wanted to do it differently, not the way she had been taught by her lecturers and professors. She wanted to bring the element of freedom in the learning and teaching process. She initiated excitement in her lessons to avoid boredom that had prevailed in the classes for long. According to her this would make students participate. Hooks essay goes as far as showing the impact of her pedagogical practices in critical thinking discussions with students, teachers and individuals. She argues that education should be wholesome, progressive ‘engaged pedagogy’, which values the expression of the student.

The claim that education should be a practice of freedom leading a teacher to self-actualization while letting a student  critically think features in Kang’s essay. While undertaking PhD studies in Chinese linguistics, Kang got an opportunity to teach Korean language. Kang panicked just like Hook when offered an opportunity to give service for students. This shows the trend created by dry lessons, characterized by domineering nature of lecturers and professors. Kang just imagines himself in front of the class giving information and not listening to his students at all.

Kang seems to have imagined some way of dealing with the situation, which amounts to critical thinking, an element of freedom. He could not write emails to various recipients using Chinese or Korean because their computers had different coding systems (NCTE 298). Thus, he had to use his L2 English in writing his emails. Finally, he was able to learn to use English and was comfortable using it. Hook understood that a teacher’s success was in the way he or she handled the lessons for students. Therefore, she learned to design lessons in a way, which engaged the student and the teacher to participate fully. In a similar manner, Kang says that he has to understand his relationship and any new email correspondent before he writes to him or her. Kang seems to have grown with time. This validates Hooks argument that in any classroom employing holistic learning model is a place where growth and empowerment of teachers occurs (Hooks 306).

Kang’s case shows a person given the freedom to go ahead; unlike in Hook’s learning where freedom was treated as a threat to the authority and was discouraged. Education should aim at producing individuals who can critically thing and be innovative (Phillips 34). It should be holistic- taking into consideration physical, spiritual and mental needs. It should engage the learners to participate fully in the learning process, not just remaining passive listening to lectures.

Works Cited

National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Reinventing identities in second language. Chicago: NCTE, 2010. Print.

Hooks. Teaching to Transgress. New York,NY: Taylor & Francis, 1994. Print.

Phillips, Anne . Holistic Education: Learning from Schumacher College. Oxford,UK: Green Books, 2008. Print.

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