In Paulo Freire The Banking Concept of Education, Freire uses the concept of education to convey his views of reality. In addition, in addressing education, Freire is also conveying ideas with regards to a broader scope. The banking concept is still relevant in the society today. In fact, I can still reminisce on all of the classes I have had where the banking concept play a large role in the teaching of the materials. To further understand this concept that Freire has created, one must look into the text for more information.
The concrete message behind The Banking Concept of Education is the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. This means that teachers put knowledge and information out for the students to memorize and recall and the students take this information and store it in their heads without really knowing the importance of the information they have just been given. Freire sees the teacher as the narrator whereas the students are patient, listening objects. In choosing the word narrator, Freire gives a story-like persona to the art of teaching. Diving into this work even deeper, Freire finds that the teacher manipulates the students sense of reality. It follows logically from the banking notion of consciousness that the educators role is to regulate the way the world enters into the students. Education is a limit on the free thinking mind and how it perceives the world. Instead of forming their own views and perspective on the world around them, students are told exactly how to see the world and how to interpret the world. For the more the oppressed can be led to adapt to that situation, the more easily they can be dominated. This sentence has an obvious intent towards manipulation. The teachers are manipulating their students in order to oppress the students. The topic of this work derives from something even more complex than just the education process.
Freire would refer to the teacher many times as the oppressor. However, this world takes on a broader scope and can include many other types of people besides a teacher. This word starts to take this piece of work and start to take it a step further. This work could apply to the military, seeing that Freire has been exiled from the military before. This could be the work of an angry oppressed person biting back at the very thing that has tried to shape his thought processes. Freire repeatedly brings up the adaptation of the majority to one main oppressor, which a king can also be an oppressor, and what the oppressor believes to be true. The more completely they accept the passive role imposed on them, the more they tend simply to adapt to the world as it is and to the fragmented view of reality deposited in them. Freire also brings up the problem-posing education. This is where people pose problems of human beings in their relations with the world. Freire also explains why trying to reform the banking concept is so difficult. Problem-posing education does not and cannot serve the interests of the oppressor. With these general ideas in mind, I have noticed how the banking concept is used today.
High school classes consist of many classes that require strictly of memorizing the material given to the students from the teacher. One that comes to mind right away is history. History is all about facts and dates and memorizing what came first and what came second. Furthermore, many students were told by the teachers exactly what caused WWI or the American Revolution. Very rarely did the students try to impose their own views of the cause and effect of an event. Another class that fits the banking concept perfectly is math class. The entire class is mainly based on memorizing formulas and then just plugging numbers into that formula. I do not think I would ever understand how derivatives came to be or the rationale behind the surface area formulas. However, I think that the banking concept in this case is necessary. There is not enough time in a school year to show the students the origin of every single formula or logic involved with math. Moreover, a lot of students, like me, do not really care to know all that information. Yet another class that fits in with the banking concept is science class. Most, if not all, of them involve memorizing terms and names of bones or organs in the body. Plants get their food through photosynthesis. This has been imbedded into my brain so much that I would never even question it. Even if there is proof that proves this statement wrong, I probably will still believe exactly what my science teachers have told me. Yet one other class that comes to mind is English. English class has made my writing more restricting and rigid. I do not even remember my writing style before taking English class. All I know is we have been told to follow a certain format over and over again that it has become a habit. I agree with Freire that the banking concept is limiting and manipulative. It really does not help students learn their materials. Most everything that I have been taught in high school has been forgotten. This is the reason why I got placed into Chemistry 100 even though I have taken honors chemistry before. As ineffective as the banking concept is, this is a method of teaching that will probably stick around for a long time.
The banking concept is something that has been around for many years. It is a popular method of teaching in our society today. Freire uses the banking concept creatively to show something that goes beyond just the education system. The banking concept may have its disadvantages but there are exceptions to every rule.