Pedagogy of the Depressed Analysis

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Analysis of “Pedagogy of the Distressed” by Jane Tompkins

Education is an essential piece of the makeup of our world. From the simplest objective such as riding a bike to solving a math problem, education starts when we are young and never stops. While we are young, parents and teachers find their own way of introducing new things to us in ways in which we can understand. As we get older, however children want to experience things on their own and in their own way. Teachers can sometimes get in the way of that particular learning process and expect the children to learn things in a particular way or else they do not. Tompkins discusses this in her article and quotes from Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed which talks about how education is most similar to depositing and how the teacher (the depositor) issues what needs to be learned to the students (the depositories) and how they then receive this information, memorize and repeat it (653).

Teachers each have their own performance model to follow based on what they feel will work in their classroom. In this way, students especially in higher education will know how to perform in such a way to the rest of their instructors and classmates. This is also a way for the teacher in question to help their students learn and to know how they feel about them. In my opinion, students are not really learning how to apply what they learn in school and how it may apply to their lives. Teachers use their own ideas of performance models to hide behind their fear of not being who others think they are (654). Fear is the drive for performance of many including students. While teachers fear being shown up as stupid, students are also afraid of being shown up as well. Tompkins states in her article how people are so good at “imitating the behaviors of their elders that they feel will likely help them succeed in the adult world to seek approval” (655). Individuals do these things everyday. To pretend to be someone you are not...
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