In John Dewey’s Experience and Education, he mainly discusses his ideas regarding progressive versus traditional education and how they both relate to experience. One section I found interesting was on page 76, and I thought it might be interesting to compare this example to standardized testing or AP classes.
Consciousness is usually defined as the awareness of the self and the surrounding world. Traditionally, consciousness is theorized to be an immaterial entity, a production of the mind rather than the brain. Consequently, most people believe that there is no physiological mechanism for the production of consciousness; it is just present with every human being and is intertwined with his thoughts and feelings. Locke and Hegel both discuss consciousness in the readings we did for this class, and both philosophers do not think that the brain produces consciousness. Locke asserts that consciousness is necessary for the thought process but it is not itself produced by thought.
“Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.” (Freire, Pedagogy)
I am in complete agreement with this statement. In Pedagogy, Freire talks about the flaws in our system of education. He says that humans/students are “containers” and “receptacles” to be filled by the teacher. In other words, he is saying that we are just memorizing whatever the teacher is teaching us, and the better that teachers help us memorize certain material, the better the teacher is. Humans really develop intellectually if they are not just memorizing material, but actually experiencing and researching what the material really is and why it is important. This helps the student retain information and enables him/her to take full advantage of their cognitive ability. I cannot tell you how many times I have been taught something by a teacher and studied and been tested on certain material, and not even a month later, I couldn’t remember anything important about what I had learned. However, the things that I have done research and experiments on myself and then been taught about afterwards are the things that I remember even today. For example, I remember almost everything that I learned from a sheep brain experiment/analysis that I did in FOCUS in second grade. This was because the teacher let us make our own observations about the brain and then clarified what we were thinking by giving us technical lingo instead of just telling us everything about the brain without giving us a chance to explore it.
Freire’s thoughts on how education/teaching should be presented to students can be compared to Rousseau’s thoughts that he expressed in Emile. He, too, believes that people should be taught through experience rather than just being told and forced to remember . Freire also reminds me of Dewey when he says that “the teacher talks about reality as if it were motionless, static, compartmentalized, and predictable.” Dewey says that in education, we should learn things that will be useful in the future, and that we should also incorporate past subject matter in these teachings. He also says that subject matter should relate to real world experiences, and that subject matter in general should be based on experience rather than theory.
It is really interesting to see how these philosophers all have the same kind of thinking towards education and how people should be taught. What do you guys think?
When Paulo Freire examines the prevailing education system of his time, he concludes that education is more along the lines of propaganda rather than learning. His paper compares education with how much freedom it gives the student, and he labels traditional education as the “banking” concept. The banking concept is sustained by depositing bits of information into a student’s brain without letting the student question how it works or why it is relevant. Freire argues that any intellectual freedom that academia can offer is crushed by banking education Continue reading
Chapter two of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed reads with the same sort of urgency as any section out of The Communist Manifesto. Freire uses powerful language to deliver a sense of romance and importance to his cause, which is educational reform. Although I wouldn’t have blamed you if you had assumed his cause to be something bigger, on the grander scale of overthrowing a government or something like that. (Ok, maybe I am being dramatic but I found Freire’s style a little overwhelming). Continue reading
I found Paulo Freire’s concepts and ideas in Pedagogy of the Oppressed very eye opening but rather depressing to be honest. The way Freire compared the education system as a banking system really made me question if there is any real hope in today’s more traditional educational system. As taken aback as I was from this work, I would have to say that agree with most of his points.
For instance, I thought it was intriguing to see that Freire write that “education is suffering from narration sickness,” (71). Once I really thought about it, I noticed how much truth there really is to this statement, at least in comparison to most of my educational experiences. I never quite realized how many classes I’ve attended where a teacher has literally spewed out information at me and the rest of my pupils and we were never expected to really inquire or discuss the lessons in depth. The teacher always had a strict lesson plan and what he or she said was final.
A more specific example would actually be of one of my classes here at Emory. It’s in a smaller classroom setting where attendance is regularly taken and there aren’t more than 20 students enrolled. Initially I assumed that, similar to my other classes of this size, this class would be heavily discussion based and that vocal participation was often expected, if not required. To my surprise, during one of our review sessions before a test, our TA briefly stated that this class was strictly a lecture. Sure our professor might ask a general question to the class every now and then but he made it clear that it was not really a class for open discussion. Granted, there have been times where we’ve turned it into more of a discussion based class but overall, our professor has a set agenda and uses all of class time to get through the lectures in full. So in this example, my professor was more like a narrator in this situation instead of a professor who uses a “problem-posing” based curriculum.
Plato talks about eudaimonia. Aristotle discusses practicing virtues as a way to achieve a complete character. Emile formulates an optimal way (in his opinion) to educate children. All philosophers have their unique ideas about particular concepts. However, these ideas share a common theme: identity. Continue reading
Reading Paulo Freire’s two cents on education reminds me a lot of any dystopian novel/movie I’ve ever read/watched. He says that the education nowadays is a type of “banking” education, where the job of the teacher is to deposit information into the student, much like anyone would deposit money into their bank accounts. Continue reading
One of the most provocative idea presented in this text is early in chapter
system promote the process of critical thinking, as it now promotes the cramming of information.
Any study will show you that the retention rate for memorization vs. true understanding is vast. As I read this part of the text and the article, I thought of a commercial that aired a while ago. It
was a Sullivan tutoring commercial where it showed a kid shaking out his ears, and, instead of water flowing from them, it was knowledge seeping out. It then states a statistic that students lose 70% of the knowledge that they learned over the summer. Continue reading
I have to say that I really enjoyed this reading. I thought that it was a very accurate description of the education process, and society’s impact upon education. I feel like I always do the worst in the classes where I have no interest in them, or merely just memorize information and then regurgitate it for the exam. I really think that narrative education is detrimental to the development of the individual, stunting creative power and allowing for the formation of a warped view of reality, as it boxes the student into a certain way of thinking and is more conducive towards memorization rather than actual learning and retention of knowledge.
I also really liked Freire’s theory of problem-posing education. I thought the idea of teachers and students simultaneously playing each others roles to be absolutely fascinating. I’ve always subscribed to the idea that people never stop learning, so I like the idea of the implementation of an education system where the teacher and students learn from each other, forming a cyclical relationship where ideas are posed and analyzed by both parties, and then conclusions shared with each other so as to enlarge their perspectives and knowledge base.
However, I am confused as to exactly how Freire wants to implement this program. I would assume that most of this system of education would be based upon discussion sections or classes founded upon student-participation. We have plenty of classes like that at Emory, but I do not think that a true student-teacher relationship has been formed, just based off of my experience in discussion sections and courses heavily dependent on student-participation. I have found that most students just respond because they feel like they have to, and the teachers have to ask question after question in order to force information out of them. How exactly does Freire hope to make this relationship between the student and teacher a reality? What methods does he want the teacher to implement in the classroom in order to achieve this goal of a teacher-student and student-teacher learning process?
In conclusion, in my opinion, Freire suggested a great system of education, and performed a very comprehensive and intelligent analysis of society and its impact upon education; however, I feel that he lacked a description of how to practically apply his theory to reality.