The Banking Concept of Education

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"You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself." -Gallileo Galilei (1564-1642)

The Audacity of Hope: The Banking Concept of Education
In Freire's essay, The Banking Concept of Education, he advances the idea that the inherent objective of the "banking concept" is to educate the poor and illiterate to remain "oppressed"; he implies that this is accomplished in part by "narrative" teaching methods, and the lack of critical thinking required of the students. He builds on ideas originally postulated by both Marie Montessori and John Dewy to create an alternative pedagogy he calls "Problem-posing" to counter the effects of the "banking concept." While analyzing the effects of the "banking concept," he draws a parallel between the "oppressed" (majority), and the "oppressor" (dominant minority). He forges the conclusion that the "banking concept" is designed to effect the oppressed to adapt to the reality of their condition, therefore, the oppressor can shape the reality of the oppressed, while, simultaneously the ability of the oppressed to shape their reality in their own interest is diminished . "Oppression" is a design of the "banking concept";" for by controlling the "material resources" that sustain institutions, education in this case, the powerful [(capitalists, i.e., upper class of owner and high- level executives)] can deny resources needed to make vital identity claims and to experience selves as agents" (Schwalbe, 1993:342).

The power or flaw of the "banking concept", (depending on which group you happen to belong to) is that it does not require that the student engage in critical thinking. "It is through education (an "ideological state apparatus" in Althusserian terms), by which the members of the dominant group, the upper class of owners and high- level executives (bourgeois capitalist) in this day and age, impose their will (without force) throughout society' (Mocombe 2007:2-4).The role...
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