The Banking Concept of Education

Topics: Education, Paulo Freire, Critical pedagogy Pages: 2 (362 words) Published: February 27, 2013
Students have mastered the science of memory.  The ability to recall facts from class is the way to success in most forms of schooling.  Memorization of vocabulary cards, overhead notes, outlines, and harvested concepts will lead to students’ expected achievement of ‘A’ marks. Many educators and students do not know that this system of education is not just ineffective, but it is harmful.

Paulo Freire talks about the “banking concept of education”, explaining that students in this system are  “ ‘receptacles’ ” that are to be “ ‘filled’ ” with the “content of the teachers narration”.(Freire, 1) These “receptacles” are expected to regurgitate information given in class, on tests, quizzes, and anything that requires an answer that is “word for word” what the teacher says.   In a banking classroom, the teacher is the authority and the students are oppressed. Freire writes, “The more students work at storing deposits entrusted to them, the less they develop the critical consciousness which would result from their intervention in the world as transformers of that world.” (Freire, 2).

To escape this system of students striving to lose critical consciousness, Freire argues, and I agree that “mutual humanization” must occur.   Students and teachers must become partners in critical thinking.  Freire argues that banking educational goals must be forgotten, and teachers should, “replace it with the posing of the problems of human beings in their relations with the world”.   (Freire, 5)

Problem posing education focuses on concepts that have “praxis”, practical application of theories or concepts learned through education.  Students must be able to see that what they learn in the classroom can help them change the world.  This realization enables them to engage in “praxis”.  When students are given problems as opposed to only information, the process becomes less alienated and more practical.

When there is no right answer, students are pitted with the task of...
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