June 29, 2013
Freirean Interpretation of My Partner’s Story
In the essay “The “Banking” Concept of Education”, Paulo Freire reviews the dominant and popular concept of education, the “banking” model of education. In this approach to education, students are only able to listen to the teacher and memorize what teacher says, including facts, formulas, disciplines, etc. They do what the teacher requires, without question. In this relationship, students and teachers are not equal. The teacher is the person who dominates the entire class and has absolute authority. The students are the audience – they cannot have their own opinions but recenive their ...view middle of the document...
I’m afraid of teacher and then I will not ask the question even if it makes me confused. These years I follow the teachers’ way and do all the things that teachers want me do. Sometimes I find I am a doll and do what other said. I lost my mind and I cannot express my opinion because I become shy (Yang 1).
As we can see, the “banking” model of education caused a psychic trauma on my partner which was difficult to heal. According to her experience, the “banking” model of education is inhuman and seriously discourages the students’ passion for exploring, and their perceptions of the world can only be given by their teachers. This is described as “consciousness” in Freire’s essay:
Implicit in the “banking” concept is the assumption of a dichotomy between human beings and the world: a person is merely in the world, not with the world or with others; the individual is spectator, not re-creator. In this view, the person is not a conscious being (corpo consciente); he or she is rather the possessor of a consciousness: an empty "mind" passively open to the reception of deposits of reality from the world outside. For example, my desk, my books, my coffee cup, all the objects before me—as bits of the world which surrounds me—would be "inside" me, exactly as I am inside my study right now. This view makes no distinction between being accessible to consciousness and entering consciousness. The distinction, however, is essential: the objects which surround me are simply accessible to my consciousness, not located within it. I am aware of them, but they are not inside me (Freire 321).
It’s not difficult to imagine what will happen if people lose their consciousness. Consider this, if this phenomenon continuously develops, what kind of student will graduate? What character can they play in this society? Do they have the spirit of innovation? A possible answer to these questions is that they can solve the problems on paper, but they cannot apply the method to a practical problem. They are incapable of creative thought – just like computers. Yet the real situation is that computers have better performance than human beings at calculating and other repetitive work. Also, because of the lack of innovation and creation, science research may be stagnant. This can lead to the stagnancy of social evolution over time.
Freire has his own philosophy to deal with this serious problem. In contrast to the “banking” model of education, Freire put forward the concept of “problem posing” education. In such educational mode, students and teachers should set up a new relationship: they are not unequal anymore; students can express their thoughts freely and discuss their thoughts with the teachers. Just like what Freire wrote in his article, “… 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” (Freire 324).
It’s not difficult to imagine that the teachers and the...