I’ve started a second doctorate. When I recently told a friend, he shot me the look you get when you’re nauseated. I, on the other hand, am delighted. I love to study. There are so many reasons I love to read and study formally (and I understand the snares of formal education, believe me). One of the reasons I love formal education is that it introduce me to people–thinkers, writers and practitioners–I probably couldn’t find on my own.

Take, bell hooks. Hooks is a true educator and has been changing the face of education for years. Who knows if I would have ever bumped into her work save that she’s on my current school reading list. I’m reading a book of hers entitled, Teaching to Transgress. In the work, she details her teaching philosophy called, “engaged pedagogy.” Engaged pedagogy is a “way” of entering the classroom (as a teacher) that awakens the power of communal learning, excites the student for the content and its broader implications, shares learning between students and teacher, and removes domination and manipulation from the learning process.

As I read hooks (which by the way is her pen name), I think about applying her engaged pedagogy to leading. Engaged leading would see the community of people as the source of greatest power, create shared space where leader and follower share and reverse roles in order to move forward what matters most, and manipulation and power plays would be replaced by power distribution and natural hierarchies that free people rather than enslave them.

Thank you bell hooks.