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.