"The Banking Concept of Education" by Paulo Freire

Essay by babyblue_eyed_angelUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, July 2006

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Paulo Freire is a native Brazilian who spent most of his earlier life teaching in poor areas of Brazil. His fundamentals of education was teaching his students "to think critically and, thereby, to take power over their own lives. Because he has created a classroom where teachers and students have equal power and equal dignity" (255). Freire wrote an essay entitled The "Banking" Concept of Education where he criticizes education stating that "narration (with the teacher as the narrator) leads the students to memorize mechanically the narrated content. Worse yet, it turns them into "containers," into "receptacles" to be "filled" by the teacher. The more completely she fills the receptacles, the better a teacher she is. The more meekly the receptacles permit themselves to filled, the better students they are" (257) The problem that I have found with his ideas of "banking" courses is that he blames the teachers for not showing their pupils higher analytical skills when in all actuality it's up to the student to learn how they can apply their own individual knowledge.

There is not set standard of how to teach pupils higher thinking because everyone must apply their own intelligence in different ways. Yes, there are problem posing courses, but what Freire doesn't acknowledge in his essay is that those courses are reserved for adult students. Freire also doesn't realize that most of the skills you learn in "problem posing" courses consists of mostly common sense.

What I think Freire didn't realize is that this "banking concept" is paramount and fundamental to education. To learn any subject one must receive, memorize, and repeat information by filing and storing. This is an elementary principal of teaching that does work. This is how a student learns a subjects and it is the only way to learn a...