Education is the process of acquiring or conveying general knowledge, acquiring the powers of judgment or reasoning, and, in general, preparing others or yourself intellectually on account of fruitful life. The banking concept of education brought forth by Paulo Freire has used several analogies, metaphors, and similes to explain the relationship between students and teachers, and the manner in which the teaching process takes place. The ideas presented by Freire sound iconoclastic and familiar at the same time, as they are relevant anywhere where there is oppression (Okigbo 31). They possibly sound familiar because they are based on Freire’s experience and they are practical.
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Banking education is an education system that allows the teacher to dominate in most of the activities in the class. Students are considered to be passive and the teacher takes all the control, dictates what will be studied, and forcefully feeds information to the students. This education system encourages learners to embrace the world as it is, detaches the student and student’s consciousness from the world, and therefore leads to oppression. In problem posing system, teachers and learners embrace a dialogue to educate each other. In this system, students are active, getting empowered to criticize the world and systematically change it. By that means, problem posing leads to liberation of the students and to the revolution against oppressive economic and social systems. The purpose of this paper is to discuss what I consider to be an ideal education system.
Both banking and problem posing education system are crucial because of what they suggest concerning the effects, purpose, and context of education, but not just because of what occurs in the classroom (Micheleti 1). Most educators consider problem posing system to be the most effective and the one that should be used to educate students. In my opinion, both systems are important in education, as they complement each other. Employing both would be fruitful as compared to using problem posing alone. For instance, many students prefer banking education when being taught sciences, math, and languages, as in these subjects facts are taught (Micheleti 1). Others argue that banking is the best method in elementary school, because a number of students at this level are developing their knowledge skills and have very little ideas to share (1).
Although problem posing is considered to be the most effective, it contravenes the unconsciousness of individuals in classroom roles, and no false intellectual inspiration can occur within that practice. In fact, the learner is liable for understanding what he or she is learning in one way or another, based on the style adapted by teacher, whether the content is related or not to the learners’ lives. Students usually do not have a true independence, because in most cases a teacher has a premeditated lesson. Hence, both problem posing and banking education system are anti-autonomous (Micheleti 2).
The banking system, in essence, hampers students’ intellectual growth by making them ‘collectors’ and ‘receptors’ of the information that has no real relation to their lives (Freire 242). As Freire claims, this turns humans into objects, where teachers assumes the role of depositing and the students assume the role of receiving. Although students consider this method to be useful in some subjects, the system is of control and oppression, because turning humans into objects make them have no autonomy; hence, no ability to conceptualize and rationalize knowledge at an individual level (Micheleti 1).
In problem posing education, the roles of the teacher and the students get structured, and both employ acts of dialogic enrichment to efficiently gather knowledge from each other (1). This approach indicates that a reliable comprehension can only be achieved through sharing, questioning, and conversation of individual’s interpretation by everyone in the classroom. This concept allows students and teachers to turn into subjects of the educational process by drifting away from intellectualism and overcoming authoritarianism (Micheleti 2). However, this approach fails to acknowledge that, unceasingly, within the apparatus of a classroom, the power structure between the students and the teacher is not balanced. For all purposes and intents, the teacher is ever an authority, in spite of any set up (2).
Although we tend to separate problem posing and banking education, problem posing is composed of both systems (Micheleti 1). There are normally two classroom modes within problem posing method. The two modes are pseudo-dialectic (which, in essence, is a form of banking) and genuine dialectic. In pseudo dialectic, the educator poses a question to the learners, but already knows the solution. In this instance, the learners are directed towards a specific outcome and do not experience independent thought-processes. In genuine dialectic, the educator poses a question without the intention of directing the conversation towards a specific answer. On basis of the amount of experience the educator has, they may anticipate a given percentage of the potential answers, but it is the other percentage of answers that they had not actually considered they are interested in.
Genuine problem posing reduces an educator’s authority to a state that does hamper exchange of ideas. The effort in assignments, attendance, and necessary participation, among others, are actually authoritative; however, within the classroom dialogue, the conversation is not hampered by authoritativeness where the students are free from the oppression of limiting intellectualism. The pseudo dialectic approach is similar to banking concept and tends to limit intellectualism. The three forms of education (banking, pseudo problem posing, and genuine problem) are interchangeable when used in educating the learners, but their relationship depends on the degree the authority gives up their control.
In my opinion, both system should be employed, because students’ input is required, and the educator should have some authority over the students to facilitate learning. Therefore, there is no method that can be effective without relying on the other. Although problem posing appears to be more lenient than the banking method, it is good to exercise both systems so that the student can, in one way, feel free from the oppression of limiting intellectualism, and, in another way, obey the authority and perform mandatory activities such as completing assignments, class attendance, among others. This means that dialectical education should exercise some boundaries to allow smooth learning.
In banking education, the learners seem not to have an idea of what the educator is talking about, but they tend to memorize it. This concept can help students to remember formulas used in sciences and mathematics. In contrast, problem posing enhances critical thinking skills and allows the students to remember a concept for a long time. Hence, employing both concepts at the same time can be very beneficial, because banking concept will first force the students to memorize what he or she does not understand, while problem posing will assist the student to further understand what is being taught by allowing the students to develop their own opinions.
Paulo Freire’s ideas on the purposes, methods, and contents of education are very relevant in any serious consideration of education system development. However, his assertion that problem posing is the best method of education system should be looked into, because problem posing does not work in some cases. For instance, he did not take into consideration that a teacher is always an authority within a classroom, regardless of the set up. He also failed to elicit the two types of problem posing, where one (pseudo dialectic) is similar to banking concept (Micheleti 2).
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