Dewey vs. Freire

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Dewey Vs. Freire

Although they are from different times and places both John Dewey and Paolo Freire have very similar theories on education. These men believed that there is more to teaching than simply lecturing to students while the students take notes to later memorize. Freire refers to this as the “banking concept” and Dewey categorizes it under a “traditional education.” Both men expressed that in order for students to fully grasp what they were being taught, teachers would have to find a better way to engage them. Dewey’s theory is known as “Progressive Education” and Freire’s is called “Problem-Posing Education.”

It was Dewey’s belief that a “traditional education” is not the best method of teaching because it is based on textbooks, lectures, and imposing knowledge on the young. Most times, young learners will memorize what they are being told without ever really understanding the material. This is why he came up with the idea of “progressive education.” Progressive learning is based on experience. Therefore, it is more hands on leading students to have a much better chance of learning through trial and error. In this way students are able to take their education into their own hands. This is not too different from Freire’s problem-posing technique.

Freire’s “banking concept” got its name from the fact that teachers simply “make deposits” by lecturing or assigning textbook work from a set curriculum. This method of teaching does not leave room for dialogue between teacher and students and also minimizes creativity because it does not allow students to think and come up with their own answers. This type of education is not beneficial for students because it is quickly forgotten and the student does not learn anything. Freire’s solution to this is “problem-posing.” The concept of problem-posing encourages critical thinking and mutual dialogue between students and teacher. In this way, students are more engaged and learn how to...
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