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25 April 2013
Alternatives to the Banking Concept of Education
In "The Banking Concept of Education," Paolo Friere argues that the way the education system is currently set up is with the intent of control and removes the aesthetic experience from the learning process (Friere). Friere compares an educator's responsibility of teaching new information to his pupils to that of a bank customer depositing currency with a teller. He claims students are made into deposit receptacles that are intended to simply soak in new information only to be later recalled for testing purposes. Friere goes on to warn that teachers and students are measured on their ability by how well the students can recite their new knowledge, regardless of understanding.
In addition, Friere asserts that this system is dehumanizing because all practical use of the knowledge that is entrusted is removed from the picture.
He argues that student's minds are considered to be malleable even if their adaptation hinders their own critical thinking and ability to create change in the world. His belief is that without the vital components of inquiry and praxis, the human element of education is destroyed. However, over the last few decades, many teachers, students and academic officials have worked to reverse the damages caused by the banking approach. With the advent of new teaching practices and democratic educational structures, many people are feeling empowered to pursue their endeavors in academia. We must make changes to the current banking approach to education used by the majority of the population because better alternative education systems exist.
Revolutionary individuals have created a vast spectrum of choices in alternative education over the decades: Montessori education, democratic schools, and vocational schools are a few examples. These varying modes...