Paolo Freire The 'Banking' Concept of Education - Essay Example

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When I was in Pre-school, my teacher asked us to draw a landscape of our own choosing. The teacher's words were encouraging as she told us that we should be expressive in using colors. Slowly, I drew the fields with sheep and created a backdrop with mountains and sky…
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Paolo Freire The Banking Concept of Education
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The Banking Method in a Pre-school Art When I was in Pre-school, my teacher asked us to draw a landscape of our own choosing. The teacher's words were encouraging as she told us that we should be expressive in using colors. Slowly, I drew the fields with sheep and created a backdrop with mountains and sky. The sky had clouds in it which I decided to color grey since I thought of cold days. When the teacher was looking around, she commented that I should color my clouds blue. A sense of revolt came up to me and I spewed " clouds aren't blue, they're grey or white ". Nevertheless, the teacher suggested that I should change my color lest my artwork would not be chosen for display. Being conditioned that a star is the definition of my achievement, I readily agreed to change the color of the clouds. That was my first lesson in conformity.
Reflecting upon that experience, it was an oppressive form of educations since learners are conditioned by teachers to color things according to what they know and what they want. The art class should have been liberating for me as a child since I could use any color to express my imagination. Instead, I was like an alienated worker who toiled so I could please my oppressor then - the teacher. She had to fill my mind with her own concept of art, though distorted. The teacher was the authority, the source of all knowledge she acquired before no matter if the knowledge is already outdated or even obsolete.
Sadly, even the teacher herself is a victim of the banking education of her own teachers, imposing that clouds should be blue. This will become a vicious cycle unless one gets liberated, as I did. The liberation happened because I felt pain. However, that pain led me to transformation , the true learning. In order to break this vicious cycle, I encourage children to draw and use whatever colors their imagination dictates to them. From this, I also learn from the children themselves since I realize how beautiful objects can be if they were given different colors such as violet skies or red clouds.
The main motive why pre-school students get into the trap of this kind of pedagogy ( pedagogy of the oppressed ) as Freire calls it, it's that they need the star reward. The affirmation of one's worth in early childhood is a star, which sadly is also a conditioning type that is oppressive. The dialectics of the star award teaches us that conformity rewards us. When we conform, there is order and the authority figure will not be upset. This stifles creativity since we do not ask questions, we simply follow the instructions. So the teachers, instead of siding with freedom, kills it. This freedom is the mind's fertile imagination that gives birth to new ideas which can be potential solutions to problems. Instead, we become mechanical and repetitive imposing that "clouds should be blue". In the end, we become necrophiliac, living a life that was dictated by us authorities ( teachers, parents, government, society ).
A deeper probe into this analysis shows that even the art teacher is oppressed by the school she works for. She is in constant pressure to showcase productivity from the students. She needs to earn her meal, and the school has to win the public in order to attract more enrollees. The school set-up is not anymore an institution for learning but a factory where production is important in order to bring profit to the capitalist ( school owners ). The teacher's role is to fill our minds with ideas and knowledge that we may even resent with. If we do not conform or follow, there is the danger of ostracism or other forms of social control, or simply, we fail a subject. Fortunately, not all teachers are like her. In fact, most teachers now encourage discussion which is an open communication that encourages true learning. After all, educators should be the guardians of freedom since freeing the mind is a step to true learning. Read More
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