Rodriguez and Freire could share an agreement on the fact that education is a significant tool on the path leading to success. Freire would disagree with Rodriguez on the fact that there is no “end of education”. Richard Rodriguez and Paolo Freire write of education as the core factor in one’s life. Two Million Minutes, the film makes the argument that U.S. students are performing at a mediocre level, at best, in math and science, and that this cannot stand, given the growing economic and educational might of nations like China and India. U.S. student’s aren’t being pushed hard enough and are just getting by through high school, with the help of The Banking Concept of Education and The Achievement of Desire we can make a change in the student’s education and attitudes towards wanting to be successful in life.
Through Freire’s lens, Richard Rodriguez would be seen as a banking student, but could later be seen as a problem-posing student throughout the course of his life; in the eyes of Freire, Rodriguez was considered a receptacle which he did not understand the knowledge he absorbed. With this comparison, the reader can conclude that the banking education is a great part of a student’s life; as seen in the documentary, 2 Million Minutes, students use all their time they have in high school, studying, memorizing their school curriculum in order to get a great education at a high level university to become very successful in their lives. This all ties into how the political aspect of the classroom has an impact on the society as a whole and having this power can change generations to come.
The types of relationships Rodriguez had with his teachers, family and in life was affected by specific styles of education and as he looked through Freire’s lens of the banking concept, he came to realized that that method of education had a detrimental effect on his life. Early on in Rodriguez’s essay he illustrates the characteristics of an automaton which confirmed Freire’s views regarding the banking concept. Despite his definition of a “scholarship boy”, Rodriguez lacked self-confidence which led him to be overpowered by his teachers and his books. Through Freire’s lens, Rodriguez would be considered a waste basket. He was filled not only with his teacher’s knowledge, but also with information obtained from his “important” books. Rodriguez seems to be a classic student of Freire’s banking system.
Rodriguez shows signs of fleeing away from the ways of the banking concept early on. He concedes by saying, “I became the prized student anxious and eager to learn. “Too eager, too anxious an imitative and unoriginal pupil.” At the time Rodriguez was simply just absorbing the narrated information that he obtained from his teachers and books. Even though he was able to narrate the information he received, he did not truly know or understand the knowledge he absorbed. Rodriguez and Freire both state that education is vital for success. Freire states that, “Projecting an absolute ignorance onto others, a characteristic of the ideology of oppression, negates education and knowledge as processes of inquiry” (Freire 3).Rodriguez did not question or analyze the information; he simply accepted and deposited the knowledge without any doubts. By learning to use his education wisely and make connections between different texts, he heightened his intelligence.
In 2 Million Minutes the featured American students Neil and Brittany are certainly intelligent, but they seem more concerned with extracurricular activities and friends than with their studies. Indian students Rohit and Apoorva, however, and Chinese students Xiaoyuan and Ruizhang all plan careers in math or science, and their families and schools support these goals. The film incorporates these students’ descriptions of their high school experiences and future aspirations with the hopes of their parents, and filmmakers juxtapose scenes from the different homes and schools. As it states “knowledge is a gift bestowed by those who consider themselves knowledgeable upon those whom they consider to know nothing.”(pg.1) Freire is stating that the students do not know anything and that the job of the teacher is to fill the “piggy bank” of the students’ minds with coins of knowledge. If we just give the students what they want and don’t allow them to engage back then they aren’t really learning anything.
They should both be able to state their opinions, have conversations in which both students and teachers participate, and the students should have the opportunity to lead discussions. This way students develop a relationship with their teachers, their peers, and the world. This will enable them to receive an education where the teachers do not oppress the students, and there is a dialectical relationship between the two; showing that they care and really want to be informed and learn something new. Although Freire and Rodriguez have different opinions, they both agree that education is the dominating event in the shaping of an adult life. Paulo Freire and Richard Rodriguez opinions of education are almost completely opposed, but they come to a conclusion of agreement in that the primary educational goal is to form a relationship with oneself, and with the world.
Rodriguez spent many years of education fulfilling the “banking” concept, and although he later recognizes the loss it entailed, he primarily believes that imitation plays an important role in the process of education for one must do this to succeed. Here, Freire would argue that the educational system is currently oppressive towards the students, and that there is a sense of necrophilia behind it all, that being the love of death. This love of death, he explains, is the technique of teaching based on memory. Rodriguez would contradict this explanation of education, relaying that “banking” plays a large role in the success of the student. Freire and Rodriguez have opposing views on the ideas of imitation, alienation, and power, Freire believing all of these concepts need to be removed or reformed and Rodriguez believing that they are important aspects for academic success.
Freire’s view on Rodriguez is that he truly didn’t understand what he was being taught, and that’s where The Banking Concept of Education comes in which Rodriguez isn’t communicating with his teachers he’s just listening to what he’s being taught. Paulo Freire and Richard Rodriguez have contradictory views concerning education. Paulo Freire discusses the negativities of present education and explains how it should be reformed, whereas Rodriguez illustrates his own life in education, and how it led him to be the person he is today. Freire believes in “problem posing education” which consists of an alive, dynamic change in students, allowing them to become humanized with a relationship with the world. 2 Million Minutes it stated that U.S. students aren’t focused and determined to do well in school like those in other countries like India and china.
In comparison between the United States with China and India, there is a definite difference between the difficulties of the curriculum within the educational system. Even though we would believe that the educational system in U.S. is the complete and the most perfect one in the world; the amount of the curriculum contents students learn are actually a lot less than students in China and India. Freire would argue that if Rodriguez was educated under the method of problem-posing he would have embraced his home life and would have developed as an individual. In the end Rodriguez had balanced his life out and reconnected with his family. Education in the end helped Rodriguez realize that other elements of his life are important. Both Freire and Rodriguez believe that a person cannot be without education.
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