“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?