Essay Assignment the banking concept of education
Date: Oct. 13, 2014
The banking concept of education
Last week, I read an article called the banking concept of education which is written by Paulo Freire, a Brazilian author who contributed to the world greatly as an educator and influenced the field of education. What is banking concept? The banking concept is an example to describe a method that students are regarded as a container and to be filled with different kinds of information and knowledge by teachers. What the students can do is just accept the things that they learned and memorize it. Freire demonstrates that the students are regarded as a bank and teachers “deposit” the knowledge into them. The biggest problem of the banking concept of education is that the students will never think carefully and they will lose their creativity and imagination without their critical thinking. Students just acknowledged the world should be like and inhibited by too many restrictions of their study. Freire demonstrates that the banking concept of education supposes that all the students are innocent. However, learning form the teacher is the only method for the students. The problem between the educator and the students won’t disappear although there’s a new curriculum introduced. Freire thinks the most effective way to solve the problem is Problem-posing concept of education. It is the opposite of banking education because it is based on students and they really can gain adequate knowledge. Both the educator and students can study and learn from each other which is a good beginning of study. The students and the educator has an active interaction and they enjoy the study time since using problem-posing method. Problem posing education provides students a great opportunity to develop their critical thinking and make them more creative.
"Implicit in the banking concept is the assumption of a dichotomy between human beings and the world: a person is merely in the world, not with the world or with others; the individual is a spectator, not re-creator. In this view the person is not a conscious being (corpo consciente); he or she is rather the possessor of a consciousness: an empty “mind” passively open to the reception of deposits of reality from the world outside" (Freire, 2014, p.219). Freire thinks that the banking concept separate the people’s mind and the real world. Freire claims that the banking concept regards humans into objects by supposing teachers as depositors and students as receptors. Freire says, “If it is true that thought has meaning only when generated by action upon the world, the subordination of students to teachers becomes impossible” (Freire, 2014, p.219). From this sentence, I know that the passive acceptance of knowledge hinders our real understanding of knowledge which will decrease and weaken the imagination and creativity of the students. Therefore, this method does not acknowledge the students “liberation”, and their so-called independence is but an illusion. I think Freire’s concept really address the problems in the community’s educational system. Nowadays, Professors are always in a large auditorium and give a lecture to hundreds of students who are no facial expressions and really looks like robots. Some students are just taking notes, some sleeping in class and some just purely not paying attention. It will be hard for students to fully understand what the educator is trying to tell them when they’re in a class that contains above 200 students; especially if they are in the back rows. The reason that happens in this system is the professor teach the whole class period. What the students do is just sit there, and absorb everything educators says without saying a word. The professor deposits the information into students' brain. There are no discussions, no arguments, no debates in class; just the teacher say, you write down. He thinks that this limits the thinking capability of the students because teachers “deposit” the information into their student’s mind and the students have to accept it. As I said, there is no debate in class and nobody questionnaire that why the information is and what happened. As a solution, he gives an idea of having an educational system what calls the “problem-posing concept.” The students begin to challenge their educators without accept blindly. One of the biggest problems he illustrates is the fact of the communication and dialogue between students and teachers, not only teachers doing teaching job. Students can also become teachers in the class as well because they also give the knowledge that teachers can't give them.
I have experienced the banking concept of education in high school. Most of the teachers were banking education users in China and also in my high schools. Actually, that period to me is like in a prison. In prison, prisoners only need to obey the superior’s order, also like the students, just need to remember what teacher said without any questions. Teachers always have key points and important things that we were required to memorize without explanation, so we just followed what the teacher said without asking any questions. I realized the banking education has been existed deeply at the first week I went to high school. My high school is in Changchun, Jilin province, the northeastern of China. Most all of the math teachers in China like putting the formula on the blackboard without explanations in class. My math teacher also just wrote all formulas on the blackboard, and then required us to memorize each single formula. At that time, I hate learning math extremely. When we finished memorizing, he would draw lots of graphs and asked us to remember again and again. Although we remembered all the things he asked us to do, we had no idea what he taught us. We even didn’t know how to use the formula and do the problems in the exercise book.
I think that the relationship between students and teachers also demonstrate the banking model clearly. In China, teachers are always ignore students’ feeling especially the teachers who teach science subject because there are many formulas for students to remember, so most of the time, they just put the formulas on the blackboard and do nothing. In my opinion, science subject should be a logical subject to lead students to learn and discover and do some experiments to get the final results. When I raise my questions in class, teachers just said that memorizing the things they said it’s enough. It is not necessary to know the answers of the questions. I feel that teachers don’t teach knowledge, but repeat their memory from the book or some videos they learned before. In teacher’s eyes, students are containers which just need to be filled with. It’s the same as the banking concept Paulo Freire mentioned in the article.
To conclude, using banking education is too harsh for students to gain knowledge, and comprehended the connection between people and the real world. Leading students to think more critically is necessary because it combine advantages of both educational ways. It depends on the fundamental knowledge provided and explained by teacher in the class, to discuss more about knowledge, so that students can clearly understand where knowledge comes and they transformed by their own logical thinking. What I want to say is that the problem-posing education made me to understand the knowledge and the life more easily.
Freire, Paulo. (2004) . The Banking Concept of Education . In David Bartholomae, Anthony Petrosky & Stacey Waite. Way’s of reading (216-226) . Boston: Bedford/Martin’s.