(Don’t) Bank on It

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.

This type of education is what Freire believes allows the domination of the “oppressors,” the people perpetuating this form of banking education, over the students. The oppressors use education as a form of ensuring their power over the younger generations. By taking out the meaning and questioning aspects of learning, the oppressors cultivate a passive mindset in the students that makes it easy to control them.

In addition, he criticizes this form of education because it does not offer partnership during the course of learning. In the “banking” structure, teachers are always in the higher position, and they are the only ones that can teach. But as we all know, teachers aren’t really the only ones teaching and can actually learn a lot from their students.

As I was reading his theory, I was very skeptical of what he was saying. Me, a container? Caroline the bank account? I didn’t believe that he was accurately reflecting on the current state of education. As I kept reading though, I started to connect some of his claims with experiences I’ve had in my real life. At times, I do feel as though my teachers expect me to absorb knowledge at face value and that my sole purpose as a student is to memorize and regurgitate information.

So maybe the situation Freire’s talking about isn’t just in dystopian novels, but also in our reality. Have you guys experienced “banking” education? If so, do you guys think that his “problem posing” form of education is the right way to educate students instead of the banking method?

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