What I ended up writing...
Summary of “The Banking Concept of Education”
Paolo Freire’s, “The Banking Concept of Education” seems to delve into education, creating a solution to our concept of teaching that creates mirrors out of students, reflecting the teacher’s mental image back upon him in a series of tests of memorization, without any analysis or thought. Freire calls this system the banking concept of education, describing it as, “Knowledge [in this banking concept] is a gift bestowed by those who consider themselves knowledgeable upon those whom they consider to know nothing. Freire says that our current system is fundamentally flawed with its relationship between the teacher and subject, in that one always narrates to the other, never the other way around. Freire goes on to say that in this system the teacher’s reality becomes the ultimate truth, with anything besides the teacher’s analysis becoming wrong, whereas there becomes no analysis from the students, just accepting of what their told.
He goes on to say that in this system, “Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiqués and makes deposits which the students patently receive, memorize, and repeat. This is “banking concept of education”, in which the scope of action allowed to the students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits.” According to Freire, the students become passive thinkers, memorizers, and eventually nothing more than receptacles and containers to be filled by their teacher, the so called ‘knowledge’ being withdrawn from this stored ‘knowledge’. Freire then says that the banking concept mirrors oppressive society as a whole, and that the banking concept is the antonym of the solution, that we cannot use any part of this concept in order to create an answer to the problems created by such a system.
Freire goes on to say that the banking system doesn’t allow a partnership between the teacher and student, one that helps share the knowledge in a way that is beneficiary to both the student and the teacher. Such a partnership would dissolve the roles of depositor and acceptor, allowing analysis deeper than a teacher’s own, from the standpoints of the teacher and the student. As Freire states, “The bank-clerk educator does not realize that there is no true security in his hypertrophied role, that one must seek to live with others in solidarity. One cannot impose oneself, nor even merely co-exist with one’s students. Solidarity requires true communication, and the concept by which such an educator is guided fears and proscribes communication.” Freire also states that the allowance of such a relationship would be possible under his solution, which he dubs ‘problem-posing’ education.
This ‘problem-posing’ education, as Freire describes it, rejects the communiqués Freire depicted before, and allows the students and teachers to liberate themselves from the banking concept, as such in its entirety. As Freire says, problem-posing education can break the pattern to which we are used to, and allow teacher-students, and student-teachers (new terms allowed by this new concept) to reach new heights of their own self realizations with this sharing of analysis of material, instead of one that is given to the aforementioned students. Freire then writes on how the new system would increase students need to respond to these new challenges because of the increase in problems relating themselves to the world, because of this newfound educational freedom.
As Freire starts to conclude his chapter, he goes on to say that problem-posing education allows people to develop their own power so that they can perceive the way they exist in the world, and with how they can find themselves. This allows them to see the world from a different view, instead of something they cannot have influence over, it becomes a transformational reality, as he puts it, something which can morph, something that a student-teacher can have influence over. Freire goes on to say that such allows education to have new meaning, which Freire describes as the process of becoming. Freire also says that this system will be rejected by any oppressor, simply because it cannot benefit the oppressor. He allows one solution to this problem, that a society must become revolutionary, to install such a new system, one that can only be implemented from an entire changeover from the banking concept of education.