Education in Evolution: from Freire’s Bank Clerk to Problem Poser

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Our portrait as students is an evolution of experiences of continuous life’s challenges and disasters. In our childhood, we consider our parents the first teachers. In the process of growing and maturing, we join the educational world going to school at the same time that we are introduced to the school of life. As scholars, we have experienced Freire’s two educational methods – bank-clerk and problem-posing. It is true that the educator would decide what method to employ, however, at the end, most of us, including the students depicted in ancient and modern literature, would choose to be critical thinkers and exhibit Freire’s “Emerging Consciousness”, opening the door to creativity, critical and a revolutionary learning process.

Usually, the beginning of our education starts at home; our parents are the first ones who teach us how to behave with manners and cultural customs. The education that we received at home can be different for everybody and the reason is different cultures, languages, and religion. The way our parents and families teach us can be defined as coalition of bank clerk and problem posing methods, the parents are the teachers and we are the students, sometimes the parents use the “banking” concept, they talk and give commands and the students just listen and accept the commands. As Freire declares Education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiqués and makes deposits which students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat. This is the “banking” concept of education, in which the scope of action allowed to the students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits (Freire 72). Freire tells us that using “banking” education, the parents become narrators and the children just containers to be filled with the parents’ knowledge. Pedagogy of the Oppressed emphasizes that communication between parents and children, doesn’t exist in a “banking” education. “Banking” education means suppression and by suppression, children are limited to extend their learning process by being filled by the parents’ ideas.

But do the parents realize that using a bank-clerk method minimizes or annuls their children’s creative power? Some parents do not realize it, they become oppressors and their children the oppressed. They consider their children inexperienced and ignorant. The parents think that their children have to learn what they teach them without asking or questioning anything, this way they would be integrated into the society accepting the passive role imposed on them. Strepsiades can be a good example of a father using “banking” education. Strepsiades wants his son to join the Thinkery to learn the two logics to save him from his debts. In the beginning, Pheidippides does not want to join the Thinkery because he believes that people from the Thinkery are crazy and what is taught is a fraud. Finally, Strepsiades persuades Pheidippides and he joins the Thinkery. Strepsiades claims “So tutor him in your two logics – traditional Philosophical Logic and that flashy modern sophistic logic they call Immoral because it’s so wonderfully wicked. In any case, if he can’t master both logics, I insist that he learn the Immoral Kind of argument” (The Clouds 66). Strepsiades does not question Socrates methods, he tells Socrates to take his son as his student and teach him the two logics. Stresiades does not care whatever it would take for Pheidippides to learn the two logics. Stresiades sees Pheidippides just as tool that would server the purpose of avoiding to pay his debts. Pheidippides is the oppressed and he can not question or criticize any method that they would use in the Thinkery to teach him the two logics.

However, other parents like mine, using a coalition of both educational methods, sometimes talk in a mandatory way and nothing is negotiable; as Colonel Graff, the head...
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