In “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” Freire addresses and tackles many issues and ideas on the topic of education, he touches on student teacher relationships and presents his Philosophy on more effective ways of teaching. The learning of Paulo Freire requires that students do more than just regurgitate the information the teacher spits out at them, it requires that the students create for themselves and allow them to become in touch with reality in order for them to fight for themselves against oppression and their creativity.
From the very beginning of Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire calls a for change with his usage of word play and imagery examples in the Pedagogy of the Oppressed. They are testament to his views on the education system. As when he references the differences between the banking education system and how the solution to the ongoing oppression in society is problem posing by mentioning how the banking concept is only beneficial towards the oppressors as it creates a timeline for the teachers to complete/program the assigned material from the district into the pupils, not only continuing the cycle of oppression but also control. The students on the other hand do not necessarily benefit from this sort of teaching, in the pedagogy the narrator mentions that when the teacher is teaching it sounds; “motionless, static, compartmentalized, and predictable. ” The student is less likely to pay attention to a subject if it doesn’t grab his or hers attention, the problem with the banking system to calls for students to just memorize and regurgitate the information and essentially they are not actually learning just being filled up like containers. Regurgitation isn’t effective long term because you are not actually learning by cramming, you have to take your time by studying and analyzing and processing the information to fully comprehend the material.
Freire first introduces the banking concept of education as being an analogy, another world play on Paulo Freire’s part as he compares the student to a bank and the teacher as the depositor. the concept of this is that the teacher is depositing what she thinks is important knowledge into the students brain fin order for them to regurgitate back. This is what leads to human beings becoming oppressed as students are being encouraged to “fit in to” the world as it is this leads to the students to become submissive to authoritative roles In chapter 2 of Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire wrote: “The outstanding characteristic of this narrative education, then, is the sonority of words, not their transforming power. “Four times four is sixteen; the capital of Para is Belem. ” The student records, memorizes, and repeats these phrases without perceiving what four times four really means, or realizing the true significance of “capital” in the affirmation “the capital of Para is Belem,” that is, what Belem means for Para and what Para means for Brazil. ” Narration (with the teacher as narrator) leads the student to memorize mechanically the narrated account. Worse yet, it turns them into “containers,” into “receptacles” to be filled by the teachers. The more completely she fills the receptacles, the better a teacher she is. The more meekly the receptacles permit themselves to be filled, the better students they are. ” Students should not be confined in a room all day and told to memorize a bunch of facts as this does not help them in the real world. If all they’ve ever known is what the teacher tells them to do, you will end up with kids who don’t know how to think independently for-themselves. Without independent thinking the child does not know how to interact in the real world, Independent thinking is a freedom that anyone should be given/allowed. Without independency the students relies solely on others for help as they were not allowed as that they could not think freely for themselves.
Furthermore the lack of independency ties into creating oppression among society as the banking system reduces individuals to objects, reducing them to be containers filled to the brim with knowledge that they do not even understand. Throughout the chapter Freire goes into depth on that the education system should not just be one over the other, that the lesson should not just be taught with the teacher pointing towards the blackboard and underlining the key points of the lesson, there should be exercises where the students can interact and discuss what they have learned. Discussion among peers stimulate the brain the more they get in-depth which creates reference points that makes it easier to digest the information. Theres an expert where Freire acknowledges the defect with the banking education by stating; “Through dialogue, the teacher-of-the-students and the students-of-the-teacher cease to exist and a new term emerges: teacher-student with students-teachers. The teacher is no longer merely the-one-who-teaches, but one who is himself taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught also teach. They become jointly responsible for a process in which all grow” This circle of regurgitation is not working anymore, schools and people are starting to wake up from this fog and realize the human brain is not a machine that we can program information into and that is why schools are slowly but steadily transitioning into problem- posing education.
Consequently Freire mentions the solution is not to incorporate the oppressed into the structure of society but to encourage them to transform the structure “so that they become beings for themselves” Problem-posing is the antidote advocated by Freire, but what is problem-posing? It is when a mutualism cooperation occurs between the student and the teacher. In this scenario students are not just sitting lethargically by, anticipating the truth to be programmed into them. Students would be able to respond to the problems imposed to them by the world; hence ensuing new challenges, understatement, dedication, and critical thinking. The teacher in this situation is not just a “narrative” like Freire mentions they are but instead they are not only breaking from submission as well encouraging cognitive thinking. Moreover this implies that the teacher would break away from oppression by preparing dialogue to interact with the students, transitioning them both into analytical creative human beings that stray from being trapped into the system. In the purpose of the problem-posing method is for students and teachers to collaborate to identify the; hopes, beliefs, desires, values and fears of the oppressed. The teacher then re-presents those themes as problems that require solving.
This type of approach centers on the idea of communication and sharing experiences to then acquire knowledge, this ties in critical thinking which is part of “liberating education” as Freire insists “consists in acts of cognation, not transferals of information” (pg 79). Knowledge is not prize solely possessed by the teacher but it is the product of a mutual discovery between teacher and student through communication. Unlike the banking education theres no teacher/student hierarchy as Freire says the overcome and “become jointly responsible for a process in which all grow” (pg 80). Knowledge is no longer to be solely delivered by the teacher to the student, it becomes the interaction between students and teacher.
To achieve this transition, Freire mentions that those who are truly committed to the liberation of the oppressed, we must replace the educational system of banking concept with a system that maintains problem-posing educational practices. Banking education considers students as mere objects that are in need of an intervention unlike the problem-posing method which creates students to be critical thinkers. Paulo Freire has a problem with how education has been conducted since the 19th century. In his Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire compares two concepts of education that are present today, banking and problem-posing. In banking teachers take all control, determine what will be learned, and “fill” students with the pre-assigned information.
On the contrary to Problem-posing education, which allows people to develop their skills as they learn from; dialogue, recognizing beliefs, values, strengths, weaknesses, and encourages discovery and creativity. Which leads transformation among the oppressed. Freire heavily criticizes the banking method throughout the article and clearly praises problem-posing in more than just an educational setting. My take on the banking method is that it stunts the growth of students and hinders their ability to exist as mindful individuals.
While Problem-Posing presents both students and teachers with the ability to open discussions that not only increase their knowledge on a subject, but encourages them to form their own ideas. The problem with transitioning strictly into a Problem-Posing education system is that humans are always in the process of evolving, and certain subjects like mathematics you need to memorize and regurgitate the formulas. Freire points out that the very own existence of education is due to the fact that humans are always in the process of change and ideally the problem posing method could be used in every classroom because it is the ‘perfect blueprint for creating students who can think for themselves and can be shaped into future leaders and educators. We just need a ideology that merges both concepts together to create a system that sharpen our students learning abilities as education is the building block of our society.