Freire Response

Raquel Sweeney
Freire Response

How Education Affects Us

Freire describes the situation of how education has become normalized into a concept of one person having power or influence over another with no mutualistic benefit. Once one group attains absolute control or knowledge the minority group then becomes oppressed. As Freire explains society’s educational system he mentions how students become a dumping ground for a teacher’s knowledge without reciprocation from student. Questions are subdued and students are taught to believe what the mentor tells them.

Freire explains the normalcy of the banking concept into today’s educational system. The banking concept is when an elite group say teachers bestow knowledge upon those they believe are completely ignorant. The concept creates a contradiction in that typically the roles of student and teachers and interchangeable, whereas the banking concept describes the situation of only one group of people giving something to someone whom they believe did not previously know that. The educational system as Freire describes it prepares students for a world where their dreams are limited and societal norms are oppressive rather than encouraging students to reject questionable societal constructs. The banking concept excludes diversity of the mind. When students are taught and there is no questioning of a teacher’s beliefs different point of views are minimized.

The goal thus becomes changing and liberating education. There needs to be a shift from the transferring of knowledge to a inquiring mindset. Rather than teachers, mentors, and professors simply pouring out an abundance of information there needs to become a way in which students interact with the information given. To free our socially constructed idea of education students as well as teachers need to actively participate in a dialogue with one another and transfer knowledge and information that way. When there is only one participant in the exchange of knowledge, creative inhibition is forced into a box. It also less likely that students truly understand the content or material that the professor is teaching. Freire mentions that there becomes a lack of cognition an actual questioning and intricate understanding of material.

Freire suggests to liberate restricted education we should divert our attention and methods of teaching toward problem-solving education. This means that the sharing of knowledge must become inclusive. The only practical way in which we can change the way we interact and share knowledge is to change our fundamental notions of our relationship within the world and with other people.

Our mindset needs to change from viewing things as impossible to merely viewing them as challenging. Education should be malleable molded to instruct and at the same time to provide understanding. It is of the utmost importance to make the world aware of the limitations

of our current banking concept that we may change the system so that it benefits both the student and teacher.

When I was in tenth grade I had a math teacher that had a very authoritarian point of view of teaching. It was her way and no other way to learn math we were told to soak up the information and that questioning would not help us understand. We were supposed to sponge up all bits of information expected to understand with no way to question or retaliate against concepts that did not make sense. I remember trying to ask questions because I could not conceptually understand why rational functions were needed in my day to day life. I could not understand the significance or impact they were supposed to have on me. I was often embarrassed when the teacher would get angry with me for not understanding the ideas after she had explained it several times. I was forced into not asking or proposing a more helpful method of teaching. Tutoring was not provided and I was left to fight and understand opinions about math that I did not share. I was taught that questioning the teacher meant being disrespectful and a challenge to authority. I think even now in some ways the banking concept of education is limiting in college. Ironically in classes that expect you to voice your opinion with no concrete answer have controversy. Professors expect that their own beliefs are shared and if questioned your own right answer becomes wrong.

There is a fundamental shift that needs to happen in the educational system. It is reinforced in society that education and knowledge is one of the most important and highly

praised thing that we have. It is contradictory to value something as much as we do without making it inclusive by having a mutual understanding between the student and the teacher.  

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