Freire: Transformation from Domination to Liberation

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In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire touches upon two different forms of education: the banking concept and problem-posing. In doing so, he unearths a concept that is deeper than education itself. He states, "Indeed, the interests of the oppressors lie in ‘changing the consciousness of the oppressed, not the situation which oppresses them'; for the more the oppressed can be led to adapt to that situation, the more they can be easily dominated" (Freire 4). This statement can be applied to the banking concept of education. However, Freire is underlining more important social issues. The banking concept of education is simply a microcosm for how oppressive society operates.

In the chapter, Freire is not attacking education, but he is simply using education to get across a bigger point. The teachers represent the oppressors. On a global level, oppressors may be dictators, governments, or any type of corrupt leader. Their interest, according to Freire, is to "change the consciousness of the oppressed", or to shape the way they think and understand the world. The oppressed people, represented by the students (in the banking concept), are then forced to adapt to this world. As long as the oppressor does not change the situation which oppresses them, the more control the oppressor has over the oppressed. The banking concept of education suggests that harmful classrooms work in a similar manner.

Freire is not addressing a specific country, but he does mention a precise problem that is common to a wide variety of societies. Freire comments of welfare, "…the oppressors use the banking concept of education in conjunction with a paternalistic social action apparatus, within which the oppressed receive the euphemistic title of ‘welfare recipients'" (4). In this case, the oppressor is the governing body. The banking concept, or the process of keeping the oppressed without conscious, is utilized to make the poor seem like their being helped. This is...
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