June 29, 2013
Freirean Interpretation of My Partner’s Story
In the essay “The “Banking” Concept of Education”, Paulo Freire reviews the dominant and popular concept of education, the “banking” model of education. In this approach to education, students are only able to listen to the teacher and memorize what teacher says, including facts, formulas, disciplines, etc. They do what the teacher requires, without question. In this relationship, students and teachers are not equal. The teacher is the person who dominates the entire class and has absolute authority. The students are the audience – they cannot have their own opinions but recenive their teachers’ “narration.” It is not difficult to imagine the scene: students like bank accounts and teachers “deposit” knowledge in these accounts, whether the students are willing or not. This is how Freire describes the “banking” model of education. In the following paragraph, I’m going to further discuss “banking” education according to my partner Yang’s experience. In today’s China, the “banking” model of education is a phenomenon. One can observe it almost in every school, no matter what kind of school. They all operate in the same mode: teachers elaborate how to solve typical problems to their students and leave them a lot of homework, then check their homework and help them to correct their errors. Everything is proposed by the teacher, and students are discouraged from thinking critically or questioning about what teacher taught them. If a student puts forward a novel idea or has a question about the class, it may provoke the teacher to think of the students as “naughty”, disturbing the atmosphere of the class and “humiliating” the teacher. Here’s an example from my partner: When I was in primary school, I was curious about everything and I always asked the questions. After few times, the teacher gave me a book which called “tell me why” and told me that I cannot ask the childish question again. I’m afraid of...
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