Rodriguez and Paolo Friere

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Education: Banking or Problem Posing?

Richard Rodriguez and Paolo Freire write of education as the core factor in one's life. They feel that education itself lends people to either "achieve" greatness or fall into the majority of "bankers." "The Achievement of Desire" by Rodriguez and "The Banking Concept of Education" by Freire greatly resemble each other; however, they also differ on some points. Despite their differences, both texts come to the same conclusion – education makes a person who he/she can become. Rodriguez and Freire both state that education is vital for success. Rodriguez writes that he is the way he is because of his education. Rodriguez came from a working class Mexican family. When he was introduced to education, he became ashamed of this and chose to change his path from falling into the same social status. Rodriguez is known as he is today because of his ability to step back; out of the present situation or environment and reflect on it almost immediately. Rodriguez agrees that banking does nothing to better education or society itself. If no new ideas are ever surfaced, then progress will never occur. He was the same as everyone else until he started to analyze texts and paraphrase more than just summarize. This made him the "scholarship boy" that he was. By learning to use his education wisely and make connections between different texts, he heightened his intelligence. A key element that Rodriguez and Freire both speak of is banking education. Freire feels that this type of education is almost useless. Banking is no more than just listening to someone speak at you and then regurgitating the information. Both speak about education in the context of the student-teacher relationship. The banking theory of education only allows for the teacher to rule over the classroom and allows for little interaction with students. Banking turns students into "receptacle" (pg 260) bins that are crammed with information that the teacher chooses to fill...
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