IES300 Banking Concept Q and A

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Question Description

Questions:

1.What is the banking concept of education, according to Freire?

2.How does the banking concept disempower human beings, according to Freire?

3. Freire argues that “Oppression—overwhelming control—is necrophilic; it is nourished by love of death not life” (p. 4). How does he connect this to the banking concept of education?

4.According to Freire, how does problem-posing education as a concept liberate people as learners?

5.Why, according to Freire, is problem-posing education antithetical to education as domination by the oppressors?

Attachment preview

PAULO FREIRE (pronounce it "Fr-air-ah" unless you can make a 

Portuguese "r") is one of the most influential radical educators of our world. 

A native of Recife, Brazil, he spent most of his early career working in 

poverty-stricken areas of his homeland, developing methods for teaching 

illiterate adults to read and write and (as he would say) 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, 

his work has stood as a model for educators around the world. It led also to 

sixteen years of exile after the military coup in Brazil in 1964. During that 

time he taught in Europe and in the United States and worked for the Allende 

government in Chile, training the teachers whose job it would be to bring 

modern agricultural methods to the peasants. Freire (1921-1997) worked 

with the adult education programs of UNESCO, the Chilean Institute of 

Agrarian Reform, and the World Council of Churches. He was professor of 

educational philosophy at the Catholic University of Sao Paulo. He is the 

author of Education for Critical Consciousness, The Politics of Education, 

The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Revised Edition (from which the following 

essay is drawn), and Learning to Question: A Pedagogy of Liberation (with 

Antonio Faundez). For Freire, education is not an objective process, if by 

objective we mean "neutral" or "without bias or prejudice." Because 

teachers could be said to have something that their students lack, it is 

impossible to have a "neutral" classroom; and when teachers present a 

subject to their students they also present a point of view on that subject. The 

choice, according to Freire, is fairly simple: teachers either work “for the 

liberation of the people-their humanization-or for their domestication, their 

domination." The practice of teaching, however, is anything but simple. 

According to Freire, a teacher's most crucial skill is his or her ability to 

assist students' struggle to gain control over the conditions of their lives, and 

this means helping them not only to know but "to know that they know." 

Freire edited, along with Henry A. Giroux of Miami University in Ohio, a 

series of books on education and teaching. In Literacy: Reading the Word 

and the World, a book for the series, Freire describes the interrelationship 

between reading the written word and understanding the world that 

surrounds us. 

My parents introduced me to reading the word at a certain moment 

in this rich experience of understanding my immediate world. 

Deciphering the word flowed naturally from reading my particular 

world; it was not something superimposed on it. I learned to read 

and write on the grounds of the backyard of my house, in the shade 

of the mango trees, with words from my world rather than from the 

wider world of my parents. The earth was my blackboard, the sticks 

my chalk. 

For Freire, reading the written word involves understanding a text in its 

very particular social and historical context. Thus reading always involves

"critical perception, interpretation, and rewriting of what is read."

The “Banking” Concept of Education

PAULO FREIRE

A careful analysis of the teacher-student relationship at any 

level, inside or outside the school, reveals its fundamentally 

narrative character. This relationship involves a narrating Subject 

(the teacher) and patient listening Objects (the students). The 

contents, whether values or empirical dimensions of reality, tend in 

the process of being narrated to become lifeless and petrified. 

Education is suffering from narration sickness. 

The teacher talks about reality as if it were motionless, static, 

compartmentalized, and predictable. Or else he expounds on a topic 

completely alien to the existential experience of the students. His 

task is to "fill" the students with the contents of his narration --

contents which are detached from reality, disconnected from the 

totality that engendered them and could give them significance. 

Words are emptied of their concreteness and become a hollow, 

alienated, and alienating verbosity. 

The outstanding characteristic of this narrative education, 

then, is the sonority of words, not their transforming power. "Four 

times four is sixteen; the capital of Para is Belem." The student 

records, memorizes, and repeats these phrases without perceiving 

what four times four really means, or realizing the true significance 

of "capital" in the affirmation "the capital of Para is Belem," that is, 

what Belem means for Para and what Para means for Brazil. 

Narration (with the teacher as narrator) leads the students to 

memorize mechanically the narrated account. Worse yet, it turns 

them into "containers," into "receptacles" to be "filled" by the 

teachers. The more completely she fills the receptacles, the better a 

teachers she is. The more meekly the receptacles permit themselves 

to be filled, the better students they are.

Education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which the 

students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Instead 

of communicating, the teacher issues communiques and makes 

deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Freire 1 PAULO FREIRE (pronounce it "Fr-air-ah" unless you can make a Portuguese "r") is one of the most influential radical educators of our world. A native of Recife, Brazil, he spent most of his early career working in poverty-stricken areas of his homeland, developing methods for teaching illiterate adults to read and write and (as he would say) 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, his work has stood as a model for educators around the world. It led also to sixteen years of exile after the military coup in Brazil in 1964. During that time he taught in Europe and in the United States and worked for the Allende government in Chile, training the teachers whose job it would be to bring modern agricultural methods to the peasants. Freire (1921-1997) worked with the adult education programs of UNESCO, the Chilean Institute of Agrarian Reform, and the World Council of Churches. He was professor of educational philosophy at the Catholic University of Sao Paulo. He is the author of Education for Critical Consciousness, The Politics of Education, The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Revised Edition (from which the following essay is drawn), and Learning to Question: A Pedagogy of Liberation (with Antonio Faundez). For Freire, education is not an objective process, if by objective we mean "neutral" or "without bias or prejudice." Because teachers could be said to have something that their students lack, it is impossible to have a "neutral" classroom; and when teachers present a subject to their students they also present a point of view on that subject. The choice, according to Freire, is fairly simple: teachers either work “for the liberation of the people-their humanization-or for their domestication, their domination." The practice of teaching, however, is anything but simple. According to Freire, a teacher's most crucial skill is his or her ability to assist students' struggle to gain control over the conditions of their lives, and this means helping them not only to know but "to know that they know." Freire edited, along with Henry A. Giroux of Miami University in Ohio, a series of books on education and teaching. In Literacy: Reading the Word and the World, a book for the series, Freire describes the interrelationship between reading the written word and understanding the world that surrounds us. My parents introduced me to reading the word at a certain moment in this rich experience of understanding my immediate world. Deciphering the word flowed naturally from reading my particular world; it was not something superimposed on it. I learned to read and write on the grounds of the backyard of my house, in the shade of the mango trees, with words from my world rather than from the wider world of my parents. The earth was my blackboard, the sticks my chalk. For Freire, reading the written word involves understanding a text in its very particular social and historical context. Thus reading always involves "critical perception, interpretation, and rewriting of what is read." The “Banking” Concept of Education PAULO FREIRE A careful analysis of the teacher-student relationship at any level, inside or outside the school, reveals its fundamentally narrative character. This relationship involves a narrating Subject (the teacher) and patient listening Objects (the students). The contents, whether values or empirical dimensions of reality, tend in the process of being narrated to become lifeless and petrified. Education is suffering from narration sickness. The teacher talks about reality as if it were motionless, static, compartmentalized, and predictable. Or else he expounds on a topic completely alien to the existential experience of the students. His task is to "fill" the students with the contents of his narration -contents which are detached from reality, disconnected from the totality that engendered them and could give them significance. Words are emptied of their concreteness and become a hollow, alienated, and alienating verbosity. The outstanding characteristic of this narrative education, then, is the sonority of words, not their transforming power. "Four times four is sixteen; the capital of Para is Belem." The student records, memorizes, and repeats these phrases without perceiving what four times four really means, or realizing the true significance of "capital" in the affirmation "the capital of Para is Belem," that is, what Belem means for Para and what Para means for Brazil. Narration (with the teacher as narrator) leads the students to memorize mechanically the narrated account. Worse yet, it turns them into "containers," into "receptacles" to be "filled" by the teachers. The more completely she fills the receptacles, the better a teachers she is. The more meekly the receptacles permit themselves to be filled, the better students they are. Education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiques and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat. Freire 2 This is the “banking” concept of education, in which the scope of action allowed to the students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits. They do, it is true, have the opportunity to become collectors or cataloguers of the things they store. But in the last analysis, it is the people themselves who are filed away through the lack of creativity, transformation, and knowledge in this (at best) misguided system. For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other. In the banking concept of education, knowledge is a gift bestowed by those who consider themselves knowledgeable upon those whom they consider to know nothing. Projecting an absolute ignorance onto others, a characteristic of the ideology of oppression, negates education and knowledge as processes of inquiry. The teacher presents himself to his students as their necessary opposite; by considering their ignorance absolute, he justifies his own existence. The students, alienated like the slave in the Hegelian dialectic, accept their ignorance as justifying the teacher’s existence—but unlike the slave, they never discover that they educate the teacher. The raison d'etre of libertarian education, on the other hand, lies in its drive towards reconciliation. Education must begin with the solution of the teacher-student contradiction, by reconciling the poles of the contradiction so that both are simultaneously teachers and students. This solution is not (nor can it be) found in the banking concept. On the contrary, banking education maintains and even stimulates the contradiction through the following attitudes and practices, which mirror oppressive society as a whole: a. b. c. d. e. f. the teacher teaches and the students are taught; the teacher knows everything and the students know nothing; the teacher thinks and the students are thought about; the teacher talks and the students listen -- meekly; the teacher disciplines and the students are disciplined; the teacher chooses and enforces his choice, and the students comply; g. the teacher acts and the students have the illusion of acting through the action of the teacher; h. the teacher chooses the program content, and the students (who were not consulted) adapt to it; i. the teacher confuses the authority of knowledge with his or her own professional authority, which she and he sets in opposition to the freedom of the students; j. the teacher is the Subject of the learning process, while the pupils are mere objects. It is not surprising that the banking concept of education regards men as adaptable, manageable beings. The more students work at storing the deposits entrusted to them, the less they develop the critical consciousness which would result from their intervention in the world as transformers of that world. 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. The capability of banking education to minimize or annul the students’ creative power and to stimulate their credulity serves the interests of the oppressors, who care neither to have the world revealed nor to see it transformed. The oppressors use their "humanitarianism" to preserve a profitable situation. Thus they react almost instinctively against any experiment in education which stimulates the critical faculties and is not content with a partial view of reality but always seeks out the ties which link one point to another and one problem to another. Indeed, the interests of the oppressors lie in "changing the consciousness of the oppressed, not the situation which oppresses them,"1 for the more the oppressed can be led to adapt to that situation, the more easily they can be dominated. To achieve this the oppressors use the banking concept of education in conjunction with a paternalistic social action apparatus, within which the oppressed receive the euphemistic title of "welfare recipients." They are treated as individual cases, as marginal persons who deviate from the general configuration of a "good, organized and just" society. The oppressed are regarded as the pathology of the healthy society which must therefore adjust these "incompetent and lazy" folk to its own patterns by changing their mentality. These marginals need to Freire 3 be "integrated," "incorporated" into the healthy society that they have "forsaken." The truth is, however, that the oppressed are not "marginals," are not living "outside" society. They have always been "inside" the structure which made them "beings for others." The solution is not to “integrate" them into the structure of oppression, but to transform that structure so that they can become "beings for themselves." Such transformation, of course, would undermine the oppressors' purposes; hence their utilization of the banking concept of education to avoid the threat of student conscientizacao.* The banking approach to adult education, for example, will never propose to students that they critically consider reality. It will deal instead with such vital questions as whether Roger gave green grass to the goat, and insist upon the importance of learning that, on the contrary, Roger gave green grass to the rabbit. The "humanism" of the banking approach masks the effort to turn women and men into automatons—the very negation of their ontological vocation to be more fully human. Those who use the banking approach, knowingly or unknowingly (for there are innumerable well-intentioned bank-clerk teachers who do not realize that they are serving only to dehumanize), fail to perceive that the deposits themselves contain contradictions about reality. But sooner or later, these contradictions may lead formerly passive students to turn against their domestication and the attempt to domesticate reality. They may discover through existential experience that their present way of life is irreconcilable with their vocation to become fully human. They may perceive through their relations with reality that reality is really a process, undergoing constant transformation. If men and women are searchers and their ontological vocation is humanization, sooner or later they may perceive the contradiction in which banking education seeks to maintain them, and then engage themselves in the struggle for their liberation. But the humanist revolutionary educator cannot wait for this ____________________________________________________________ *conscientizacao: According to Freire’s translator, “The term conscientizacao refers to learning to perceive social, political, and economic contradictions, and to take action against the oppressive elements of reality.” possibility to materialize. From the outset, her efforts must coincide with those of the students to engage in critical thinking and the quest for mutual humanization. His efforts must be imbued with a profound trust in people and their creative power. To achieve this, they must be partners of the students in their relations with them. The banking concept does not admit to such partnership—and necessarily so. To resolve the teacher-student contradiction, to exchange the role of depositor, prescriber, domesticator, for the role of student among students would be to undermine the power of oppression and serve the cause of liberation. 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 surround 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. It follows logically from the banking notion of consciousness that the educator's role is to regulate the way the world "enters into" the students. The teacher's task is to organize a process which already occurs spontaneously, to "fill" the students by making deposits of information which he or she considers to constitute true knowledge.2 And since people "receive" the world as passive entities, education should make them more passive still, and adapt them to the world. The educated individual is the adapted person, because she or he is better 'fit" for the world. Translated into practice, this concept is well suited for the purposes of the oppressors, whose tranquility rests on how well people fit the world the oppressors have created and how little they question it. The more completely the majority adapt to the purposes which the dominant minority prescribe for them (thereby depriving them of the right to their own purposes), the more easily the Freire 4 minority can continue to prescribe. The theory and practice of banking education serve this end quite efficiently. Verbalistic lessons, reading requirements,3 the methods for evaluating "knowledge," the distance between the teacher and the taught, the criteria for promotion: everything in this ready-to-wear approach serves to obviate thinking. The bank-clerk educator does not realize that there is no true security in his hypertrophied role, that one must seek to live with others in solidarity. One cannot impose oneself, nor even merely coexist with one's students. Solidarity requires true communication, and the concept by which such an educator is guided fears and proscribes communication. Yet only through communication can human life hold meaning. The teacher’s thinking is authenticated only by the authenticity of the students’ thinking. The teacher cannot think for her students, nor can she impose her thought on them. Authentic thinking, thinking that is concerned about reality, does not take place in ivory tower isolation, but only in communication. If it is true that thought has meaning only when generated by action upon the world, the subordination of students to teachers becomes impossible. Because banking education begins with a false understanding of men and women as objects, it cannot promote the development of what Fromm calls "biophily," but instead produces its opposite: "necrophily." While life is characterized by growth in a structured functional manner, the necrophilous person loves all that does not grow, all that is mechanical. The necrophilous person is driven by the desire to transform the organic into the inorganic, to approach life mechanically, as if all living persons were things. . . . Memory, rather than experience; having, rather than being, is what counts.' The necrophilous person can relate to an object -- a flower or a person -- only if he possesses it; hence a threat to his possession is a threat to himself, if he loses possession he loses contact with the world. . . . He loves control, and in the act of controlling he kills life.4 Oppression—overwhelming control—is necrophilic; it is nourished by love of death, not life. The banking concept of education, which serves the interests of oppression, is also necrophilic. Based on a mechanistic, static, naturalistic, spatialized view of consciousness, it transforms students into receiving objects. It attempts to control thinking and action, leads women and men to adjust to the world, and inhibits their creative power. When their efforts to act responsibly are frustrated, when they find themselves unable to use their faculties, people suffer. "This suffering due to impotence is rooted in the very fact that the human has been disturbed."5 But the inability to act which causes people's anguish also causes them to reject their impotence, by attempting . . . .to restore [their] capacity to act. But can [they], and how? One way is to submit to and identify with a person or group having power. By this symbolic participation in another person's life, (men have] the illusion of acting, when in reality [they] only submit to and become a part of those who act.6 Populist manifestations perhaps best exemplify this type of behavior by the oppressed, who, by identifying with charismatic leaders, come to feel that they themselves are active and effective. The rebellion they express as they emerge in the historical process is motivated by that desire to act effectively. The dominant elites consider the remedy to be more domination and repression, carried out in the name of freedom, order, and social peace (that is, the peace of the elites). Thus they can condemn—logically, from their point of view—"the violence of a strike by workers and [can] call upon the state in the same breath to use violence in putting down the strike."7 Education as the exercise of domination stimulates the credulity of students, with the ideological intent (often not perceived by educators) of indoctrinating them to adapt to the world of oppression. This accusation is not made in the naïve hope that the dominant elites will thereby simply abandon the practice. Its objective is to call the attention of true humanists to the fact that they cannot use banking educational methods in the pursuit of liberation, for they would only negate that very pursuit. Nor may a Freire 5 revolutionary society inherit these methods from an oppressor society. The revolutionary society which practices banking education is either misguided or mistrusting of people. In either event, it is threatened by the specter of reaction. Unfortunately, those who espouse the cause of liberation are themselves surrounded and influenced by the climate which generates the banking concept, and often do not perceive its true significance or its dehumanizing power. Paradoxically, then, they utilize this same instrument of alienation in what they consider an effort to liberate. Indeed, some "revolutionaries" brand as "innocents," "dreamers," or even "reactionaries" those who would challenge this educational practice. But one does not liberate people by alienating them. Authentic liberation—the process of humanization—is not another deposit to be made in men. Liberation is praxis: ...
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henryprofessor
School: Carnegie Mellon University

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The Banking Concept of Education
What is the banking concept of education, according to Freire?
How does the banking concept disempower human beings, according to Freire?
Freire argues that “Oppression—overwhelming control—is necrophilic; it is nourished by
love of death not life” (p. 4). How does he connect this to the banking concept of
education?
According to Freire, how does problem-posing education as a concept liberate people as
learners?
Why, according to Freire, is problem-posing education antithetical to education as
domination by the oppressors?


Running head: THE BANKING CONCEPT

The Banking Concept of Education
Name
Institution

1

THE BANKING CONCEPT

2
The Banking Concept of Education

What is the banking concept of education, according to Freire?
The banking concept of education entails a model of education in which the students are
only allowed to be recipients. The students’ scope of action in th...

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