Alternatives To The Banking Concept Of Education

1932 words - 8 pages

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David SousaProfessor RobertsEnglish 1A25 April 2013Alternatives to the Banking Concept of EducationIn "The Banking Concept of Education," Paolo Friere argues that the way the education system is currently set up is with the intent of control and removes the aesthetic experience from the learning process (Friere). Friere compares an educator's responsibility of teaching new information to his pupils to that of a bank customer depositing currency with a teller. He claims students are made into deposit receptacles that are intended to simply soak in new information only to be later recalled for testing purposes. Friere goes on to warn that teachers and students are measured on their ability by how well the students can recite their new knowledge, regardless of understanding.In addition, Friere asserts that this system is dehumanizing because all practical use of the knowledge that is entrusted is removed from the picture. He argues that student's minds are considered to be malleable even if their adaptation hinders their own critical thinking and ability to create change in the world. His belief is that without the vital components of inquiry and praxis, the human element of education is destroyed. However, over the last few decades, many teachers, students and academic officials have worked to reverse the damages caused by the banking approach. With the advent of new teaching practices and democratic educational structures, many people are feeling empowered to pursue their endeavors in academia. We must make changes to the current banking approach to education used by the majority of the population because better alternative education systems exist.Revolutionary individuals have created a vast spectrum of choices in alternative education over the decades: Montessori education, democratic schools, and vocational schools are a few examples. These varying modes of teaching and learning were created to effectively work against student apathy and the boredom of routine that is common place in traditional schools. Alternative education works to cultivate critical thinking and problem solving as part of student's development.In the article, "Montessori Schools Look to the Future," Carla Rivera, staff writer for The Los Angeles Times, compares the Montessori approach to traditional public schools. Additionally, Rivera describes the history of the Montessori school and how it is evolving in modern education. The Montessori system was created by Italian physician Maria Montessori and was created with an emphasis on a child's psychological development and creative freedom, within limits, while learning new subject material (Rivera). In our banking approach, children are brought into order, a regimen of study, curriculum, and standards. This is in stark contrast to the Montessori approach where students have direct choice in their area of study from a prescribed range of options. It is the direct action of choosing their course, rather than...

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