The Brazilian author Paulo Freire in his writings of “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” first published in 1968, looks into the student and the teacher relationship along with the method of teaching used and how it may have its effects. This article will be taking a look inside chapter 2 of “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” to see what Freire’s views and thoughts are.
Freire suggests that teaching is rather narrative in the banking method, even referring to the teacher as a “narrating subject” and the students as “listening objects.”
Freire depicts the teacher role as a task to “fill” the students’ minds as he wrote, “His task to “fill
the students with the contents of his narration-contents which are detached from reality, disconnected from the totality that engendered them and could give them significance.”
Freire brings up communication between the student and the teacher in his writings, “Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiqués and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat.” This suggests that Freire believes that the banking method is indeed in lack of communication, as well as a student teacher relationship. Freire refers to the banking system as a “misguided” system at its best.
“Projecting” is looked at as an ignorant method by Freire, the idea of the teacher simply “projecting” their ideas and knowledge onto the student and the teacher considering the student to be the one to know nothing and be ignorant.
He suggests that oppressed students are not likely to stand up for what they believe in, nor promote change in his writings, “The capability of banking education to minimize or annul the students’ creative power and to stimulate their credulity serves the interests of the oppressors, who care neither to have the world revealed nor see it transformed.”
Freire promotes the “liberation method,” mentioning that “Education must begin with the solution of the student-teacher contradiction, by reconciling the poles of the contradiction so that both are simultaneously teachers and students.”
In reading Paulo Freire’s argument in “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” I was not just drawn to agree with such claims, I was also rather intrigued. I do contest a large number of teachers do “teach” as opposed to just “fill”, although, I do find it disturbing that such education methods are still being practiced today.
I felt he was signifying that the students may not be actually learning, but rather memorizing the answers to later repeat. Freire uses his example, “The capital of Para is Belem.” Suggesting the student will merely memorize such information if not explained further in depth, given reason, such as what a capital means in general and what it means for Para as well as Brazil.
Freire mentions in his writings several times of how the students are being “filled” as if they were bins or containers. This suggests to me that the banking method looks at the students as no more than “objects,” as opposed to real beings.
I believe Paulo Freire is correct how there is a lack of real communication between the student and the teacher in the banking method, as well as it keeps the students from truly learning and understanding and instead has them merely repeating. The solution to this way of teaching known as the “banking method,” is its opposite, the “liberation method.” The liberation method is supported by Freire as he believes it begins with solving the student-teacher contradiction.
There are several issues with the banking concept, not giving the students the benefit of the doubt and just treating them as ignorant containers while lacking any sense of real communication between the teacher and the student. As Freire put about this oppressing method, “The teacher is the Subject of the learning process, while the pupils are mere objects.”
Freire writes in terms of domination, how the oppressed are the dominated. Oppression not only dominates the oppressed in my view, it helps ensure the lack of the creative power and critical thinking. Freire writes how the oppressed should be able to be “beings for themselves,” and continues on saying, “Those truly committed to liberation must reject the banking concept in its entirety, adopting instead a concept of women and men as conscious beings and consciousness as consciousness intent upon the world.” This is my personal favorite quote by Freire, and taken quite literally. The idea that each individual is just that, a conscious individual mind that can freely think, write, say, or do as they will, and are not just “bins of information.” As Freire puts it, “Liberating education consists in acts of cognition, not transferrals of information.”
I believe the banking method ensures the students will later simply “adapt” to the world, its rules, and their surroundings as opposed to standing out, speaking out, or questioning things. As much as I support Paulo Freire’s argument and am a fan and firm believer in his writings and claims, I also believe that it is a two-way street; education should be a mutual process between the teacher and the student. Some students may have a teacher who practices the liberation method to its fullest, but that student may only put forth enough effort to simply memorize and repeat. That student may not participate or support critical thinking and constructive communication between themselves and the teacher.
Although, I do believe it is highly important to offer and practice the liberation concept to give the students any chance necessary along with a proper education. Education methods such as the banking method can leave a teacher with an impact on his or her student leaving them to feel incomplete. Freire argued best that oppression dehumanizes not only the oppressed, but the oppressors themselves as well.
Cited Source: http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/philosophy/education/freire/freire-2.html