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Paulo Freire Essay

In “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, Paulo Freire presents two concepts of education, banking and problem-posing. Specifically, Freire argues that in banking, teachers assume students are passive, take all control, determine what will be learned, and “fill” students with pre-selected information. Problem-posing education allows people to develop their human natures fully because it depends on dialogue, recognizes the relationship between people and the world, encourages discovery and creativity, and leads to transformation.

Freire criticizes the banking method throughout the essay and clearly praises problem- posing in more than just an educational settings. For instance, narration sickness is a term used when the teacher talks about a subject as if it were “motionless, static, compartmentalized, and predictable. ” In addition, necrophilia is another one of Freire’s exaggerated imagery, comparing the banking concept and oppression to the love for the dead. Freire supports the problem-posing method as being the only educational concept needed. His essay is well laid out with examples and supporting details, but is this practical for public education?

Freire says that to be truly committed to ending banking the students must reject it all together. I have mixed feelings. It’s not that I do or don’t support this statement, but I do believe both concepts are necessary at some point in education. Some information presented to students can only be taught through repetition, memorization, and narration. For example, math and science equations are concepts needed to be memorized in order to complete problems. The way a student memorizes it can be creative and active, but it still falls under the banking category for needing to be told how to perform it.

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