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"Banking Concepts." Paulo Friere Raleted To Education.

917 words - 4 pages

Condemning the 'banking' concept of education, where the learner is seen as a passive empty deposit into which knowledge and literacy can be invested, Paulo Freire sought to provide the analytical framework and skills for people to define, challenge, change and make their own development depending on their specific cultural and historical context (261). To do this, the oppressed must be liberated. In this paper, I will discuss how the oppressors can be liberated through dialogue and how this results in the overall solution: problem posing education.Paulo Freire envisions the pedagogy of the oppressed or the teaching the oppressed as, "an instrument for the oppressed to make the critical discovery that both they and their oppressors are manifestations of dehumanization" (261). Freire describes the oppressed and the oppressor as not being fully human (de-humanized) beings. The oppressor does not allow other beings to be fully human by robbing them of their free will. In the process of oppressing others, the oppressor is dehumanized because he/she denies others their humanity. Freire sees beings who are not allowed to be fully human as oppressed.At the same time the oppressed can in turn become the oppressor because often they see the oppressor as what they should strive to be. In an attempt to gain control of their lives, many times the oppressed strive to be a part of the oppressive system. This does not liberate the oppressed, rather it turns them into oppressors. In this process, the problem of oppression is not solved but rather reinforced.In their struggle for liberation, the oppressed may retaliate against the oppressor in an effort to control. This too defeats the purpose of becoming liberated because the oppressed again becomes the oppressor. This is a vicious cycle which does not result in humanization, but instead sustains oppression. The struggle for liberation, Freire writes, begins when the oppressed must while seeking to regain their humanity do not become oppressors of the oppressors "but rather restorers of the humanity of both" (261). Freire is concerned with creating an environment of equality between both the oppressed and the oppressor-thus both are liberated.Freire sees that the main avenue to liberation is through education. Education is often a major source of oppression. Oppressive education is illustrated in the"banking" concept : "in which the scope of action allowed to the students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits" (260). In this form of oppressive education the student is transformed into a "container" to be "filled" by the teacher or "bank clerk". This process allows only for the mechanical memorization and narration of information and "facts" instead of education being liberating, it becomes a form of oppression. The monotonous cycle of students being filled with facts, which are...

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