A Comparison between Two Essays

Topics: Education, Paulo Freire, Learning Pages: 5 (1385 words) Published: May 7, 2014
Khushali Shah
Prof. Norton
English 101
February 28, 2014
Meaningful Learning
Paulo Freire’s essay ‘The Banking Concept of Education’ and Walker Percy’s essay ‘The Loss of the Creature’ ultimately share the same message that students without a struggle are not able to use their education to confront real-life situations. I believe that meaningful learning is a process that takes place daily. Everyone learns in a different way and at different speed. I feel that it is a gradual process in which one learns imperceptibly depending on what they have been able to grasp in or from the kind of mistakes made. I would define meaningful learning as a process in which one is exposed to new interesting information, knowledge or experience that one could use in their upcoming life if needed, and help them from committing any additional blunders related to it. One aspect that can affect meaningful learning are the preconceived notions that are built from numerous different sources; it could be media, books, other people, outings or from experiences that are driven by their own pure personal desire. For me, it is meaningful learning if one has used their individual perspective and critical thinking to come to a conclusion and educated them from the information acquired.

I feel that having predetermined notions is not a terrible thing but it is important that one should be open to other aspects. To shed some light on my concept of meaningful learning, I would like to use the example of my visit to Red Fort, India. I went with some preconceived notions since I had heard a lot about it from my close friend. Percy states in his essay that, “the sovereign discovery of the thing before him is rather measuring up of the thing to the criterion of the preformed symbolic complex” (460). Percy, in the above statement argues that having a preconceived image through media, books or other sources can lead to false appreciation. While on the other hand, Freire’s states that education becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiques and makes deposits, which the students patiently receive, memorize and repeat (318). In the above statement, Freire claims that the banking concept of education thereby changes humans into objects. Humans have no independence and therefore no ability to rationalize and conceptualize knowledge at a personal level. Both Percy and Friere claims that any notions built on the basis of additional sources cannot lead to a meaningful experience. As per Percy, I lost sovereignty on my trip to red fort by having preconceived notions and not thinking critically about it, while as per Friere, I was the depository and my friend was the depositor, which affected my learning of a meaningful experience. From my experience, I disagree with both of them. On my trip, I found that the fort had its wall engraved with timelines and details of how and when various events took place in that fort in the historical era. The fort had old weapons preserved, which the emperor and their soldiers were using in the historical era. I captured a lot of images and videos but was also able to experience the site to the fullest. I spent an entire day at the fort, which was truly an amazing experience and learnt a lot more about it than what I had heard from my friend. My experience at the Red Fort made me believe that having some preconceived notions can be encouraging and productive in opposition to what Percy thinks about people having symbolic complexity and not able to experience the sight for what it truly is. According to Friere’s banking concept, my friend was the depositor and I was depositories, had I not been a depositories in this case, I do not think I would have even visited this place and would have missed out on a meaningful learning experience. From my experience, I do not agree with Percy regarding his view on how to...

Cited: Frieire, Paulo. “The ‘Banking’ Concept of Education.” Ways of Reading. Boston: Bedford, 2011.
Percy, Walker. “The Loss of Creature.” Ways of Reading. Boston: Bedford, 2011.
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