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Paulo Freire is extremely hypocritical in his essay, "The 'Banking' Concept of Education." He criticizes Brazil's current style of teaching its students (the banking concept) and proposes a utopian ideal of teaching that he calls problem-posing education. In this mythical system of teaching, the students and teachers become each other's peers. Instead of learning traditional book knowledge, these new pupils are instead taught how to use the creative capacities of their minds. They will be able to create original ideas and will all be revolutionaries. Although this new method of teaching seems very intriguing on paper, it is impossible to fully achieve. Paulo Freire's essay itself displays how this new system is impossible. "The 'Banking' Concept of Education" is obviously written in the old style of teaching and fails to be problem-posing.
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“The Banking Concept of Education,” from Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire. New York: Continuum, 1993. Translated by Myra Bergman Ramos [This is the citation information you will need to construct a Works Cited entry; for in-text citation, use Paulo Freire’s last name and the paragraph number (since this is a reprint and not the original, book-length source). Consult your Easy Writer for information about citing a book with a translator].
What can we learn about Freire’s ideas, or your own experience, by thinking about them together?
Readings to Review: Paulo Freire, “The Banking Concept of Education,” from Pedagogy of the OppressedEssay Requirements:
(These elements need to be part of your essay, but not necessarily in the following order):
• Telling your readers what they’re reading about and why:
This includes an introduction to the topic and a meaningful thesis statement.
It is not surprising that the banking concept of education regards men as Closing the Gap: An Essay Pertaining to Paulo Freire’s Ideal Education By Sage Witham.
Within "The 'Banking' Concept of Education," Paulo Freire's style of teaching through his writing clearly contradicts the style of teaching that he is promoting within the same essay. This hypocritical behavior has a disastrous effect on the credibility of his ideas. If he cannot implement the ideas of problem-posing education within his own essay, how can it possibly work in classrooms? I will answer this question myself because I am not claiming to be a problem-posing educator: It cannot work. Freire's system of problem-posing education will fail because it does not have enough structure. Unknowingly, Paulo Freire proved the flaws of his ideas in his own essay when he failed to utilize his own utopian teaching methods to teach us.
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There are also other things which could have been done to keep the essay from being so much in the style of the banking concept. Instead of roughly dispensing definitions, Freire could have opened up their meanings to discussion. He could have looked at how the terms could have various implications for different people. And, the opposing side to the author's arguments could have been explored. If Freire had done these things along with asking more questions, he would have been able to make his essay more problem-posing. It would have strengthened his position in the sense that it would be less hypocritical, but it would have weakened it at the same time by questioning its validity. This is the crucial problem with problem-posing education. Paulo Freire could not have written an effective essay using the problem-posing methods because they are flawed. Teachers and authors need to have the ability to tell their students and readers what the truth is sometimes. Not everything should be opened up to questioning.
So how could Freire's essay have been less in the spirit of the banking concept and more like problem-posing education? A start is that he could have asked more questions. Asking the students (or readers in the case of an essay) questions is crucial in problem-posing education. If there is no room for discussion, then the author is simply "projecting an absolute ignorance onto others" and depositing information into the readers who have become nothing more than receptacles (Freire 349). Freire fails to ask questions throughout the entire essay. When he finally does in the concluding paragraph, he immediately answers his own question, leaving the readers with no chance to form their own answers. Why does Freire fail to ask questions in his essay? Does it perhaps stem from a lack of understanding of how to be a problem-posing educator? Or, is it simply that he thinks that he does not need to follow his own rules of educating?