This week we focused on chapter two: the “banking” concept in education in Paulo Freire’s book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, based on lived experiences of oppression and how he translated such a reality into a pedagogy that would emancipate the oppressed into becoming more aware of themselves as persons within a particular historical context and be empowered to become agents of social change.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed presents a sharp critique of the conventional banking model/system of education, where teachers deposit knowledge and information into a students mind and later withdraw it during exams. In this model, students are not given a chance to participate in the learning process, nor are they provided with opportunities to express their ideas about the subject matter or relevant issues. Freire’s book challenges these teaching approaches where educators assume they possess all the knowledge while students are presumed to know nothing, resulting in being taught and disciplined accordingly.
After reflecting on Chapter 2 of this book, all I could feel was frustration and fear. I felt frustrated due to the recognition that traditional education systems, represented by the “banking model,” perpetuate historical inaccuracies and myths. For example, in particular, the glorification of Christopher Columbus as a hero, despite his involvement in violence and the enslavement of indigenous people can be deeply unsettling. This frustration stems from a sense of disillusionment and anger at the realization that I was taught these inaccuracies, which might have shaped my understanding of the world.
I also fear that younger generations be subjected to misleading narratives and inaccuracies. My fear reflects a broader worry about the consequences of a flawed educational system that perpetuates harmful stereotypes and glosses over crucial historical truths. Misconceptions like Christopher Columbus could continue to shape the worldview of future generations, potentially perpetuating injustice and bias.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed is relevant and timely towards establishing new paradigms in education and the educational system that would seek to incorporate creative, liberating, and life-affirming approaches to learning processes. This means incorporating various academic curricula relevant to historical issues that affect the lives of the people as well as the socioeconomic and political systems and structures where these issues operate. Teachers should be more caring with the information they teach their students and encourage dialogical education, a two-way exchange of ideas between teachers and students, enabling learners to question, challenge, and co-create knowledge. As well as teachers should not view students as passive learners. Instead, they should be treated as active participants in the whole learning process with a rich deposit of knowledge and perspectives in terms of their lived experiences.