Freire discusses about two different educational methods: banking education and problem posing education. In the banking method, the teachers are the knowledge authority who narrate the knowledge and the students’ duty is to receive knowledge without any criticisim. The more they memorize, the better students they become. For this reason, the author resembles the students to “containers”. Furthermore, the author claims that this method opresses students’ creativity and thinking abilities, and make them easily dominated. In contrast, in problem-posing method, instead of only listening to the teacher, students express themselves and create their own understanding of new concepts while interacting with the teacher and their peers. Freire points out an important difference in the following paragraph:
“Whereas banking education anesthetizes and inhibits creative power, problem-posing education involves a constant unveiling of reality. The former attempts to maintain the submersion of consciousness; the latter strives for the emergence of consciousness and critical intervention in reality.” (p.68)
I totally agree with the argument that banking education do not let students think and become creative in opposition to problem-posing education. The main reason is that learning process can not become meaningful unless the students become a part of the process instead of only becoming a “container”. I believe that teachers should create a learning environment which is suitable for the inquiry. By this way, students can involve the learning process by analyzing new concepts and draw their own conclusion instead of memorizing things without any judgement. Besides, they can make connections between the concepts and daily life. As they absorb the knowledge, when they encounter with problems in daily life, they can easily solve the problems by implementing their knowledge to different situations. Even more, they become more curious and aware of the world, and manage their own learning by asking new questions.
Nowadays, we define banking method as “teacher-centered learning” and problem-posing method as “student-centered learning”. Many teachers have realized the importance of using student-centered methods in their courses and they refrain from applying the teacher-centered methods as they observe that students develop higher thinking skills through student-centered learning.
- Freire, P. (1971). Chapter 2 from Pedagogy of the Oppressed. (M. B. Ramos, Trans.). New York: Herder and Herder.