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Paulo Freire, The Banking Concept Of Education.

1454 words - 6 pages

Paulo Freire, a leader in literacy studies as well as a believer of progressive teaching, is against the education system he classifies as the "banking concept of education". Instead, he supports the idea that education should be a collaborative process in which teachers and students work together and think critically. From the text, "The Banking Concept of Education", Freire classifies the banking concept as, "an environment where teachers are the narrators and the students are the recorders" (259). Freire has also proposed a new solution in his text called the problem-posing education where the teacher and student become one, "Each teaches the other and both have the chance to think critically as well as give one's interpretation of the subject"(266). However, both systems are not perfect and therefore both have advantages and disadvantages in the education system.The banking concept of education has a large amount to criticize and I suspect especially from Freire himself. Freire describes the method of teaching where "the teachers directly fill the minds of their students with information and the student themselves accept it without any questioning as oppressive" (260). To put it differently, the teacher informs, and the student listens in return. The students are not allowed to challenge the authority and the credibility of the teacher. Therefore, students have no freedom or active participation in education and the exchange of information is one-way. As I see it, this is generally, what people call spoon-feeding. In addition, Freire explains, "Those truly committed to liberation must reject the banking concept in it entirety, adopting instead a concept of men as conscious beings, and consciousness as consciousness intent upon the world" (261). This suggests that Freire feels the banking concept leads to an unresponsive mind that stands in the way of society's expression and freedom. This is obviously against the principle of most people in this society, which emphasizes and prides itself on freedom of expression or speech. He also adds, "In sum: banking theory and practice, as immobilizing and fixating forces fail to acknowledge men as historical beings" (264). To put it differently, he feels that the banking concept fails to recognize men as the ultimate being in this world, which is capable of unparalleled heights. With the banking concept, men's achievements are disadvantaged resulting to a backward society in the future. Thus, Freire concludes that there is no advantage to the banking concept of education and that it is never useful.There is, however, a time in which this type of teaching is necessary and useful. The act of recording, memorizing, and repeating phrases may have its advantages in certain situations. For instance, this banking method would demonstrate its necessity when teaching a foreign language. This is because, for the first few years of learning a foreign language, the only method of teaching is the memorization and...

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