In “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, Paolo Friere vehemently argues that the current structure of education is obsolete, and that true education cannot exist in a dystopic, oppressive environment like the one found in schools today. Under what he calls the “Banking Concept,” he continually argue that the Banking Concept, which he defines as merely depositing impractical trivial data into students’ minds, stifles human potential, understanding, and growth, as well as enforces a mindlessness in the ever evolving society. It teaches students to only question what they are ordered to question, primarily only enforces mass memorization of impractical, trivial information, and that success in the society so intricately created by the “oppressors” themselves all depends on how meekly they submit, and that the hierarchy dictates who rules with an iron fist (person who signs the paycheck>Teacher>Students); true education cannot supposedly exist in a hierarchy of sorts. In short, he addresses its flaws from multiple angles and enforces its abysmal existence. As such, an alternative method Friere then discusses is the “Problem-Posing” concept of education, where as opposed to the Banking Concept’s straightforward ideology, the Problem-Posing ideology stresses critical thinking on an existential level, abolishes the concept of superiority in the school system, and actively tries to address every student’s and teacher’s needs while simultaneously promoting mental growth; education becomes a learning experience for every party. It also helps form a student’s understanding of the world distinct to them. From a personal standpoint, Friere was on the mark. The Banking Concept is apparent in today’s times, exactly as Friere says, some could agree that they never recall the school system being even enjoyable, or remotely pleasant for that matter, and many now may consider the general current style of teaching a failure; it’s not hard to find at least one student in grade school that believes school to be “boring” or any other adjective similar to Friere’s. However, despite agreeing, it’s quite hard to say that Friere’s argument is essentially completely true, as I personally believe that there is no right or wrong in instances likes these–that ideology applies to truths and falsehood as well. On the one hand, one could agree that the Banking ideology does indeed have its flaws, such as the oppression of students, the future of society and future teachers themselves, or such as pushing for an oppressive lifestyle where the student’s only job is to absorb the teacher’s flawed and one sided jargoon like a sponge; most students today could agree that the amount of practical things learned within school is trifle at best. On the other hand, in the same way, anyone else could argue that Friere’s argument holds no merit, as nothing can be guaranteed until it is put into practice; I’m certain even Friere himself would agree applying this method into a classroom at this point would not be easy. Regardless, the majority of what he elaborates on is interesting, and for the most part, very relatable. In fact, I can relate to his writing on a higher level, as I myself have thought of most of what he explains in one of my experiences in high school.
In the words of Friere himself, “yet only through communication can human life hold meaning.” To paraphrase, communication, presumably both mentally and verbally, are vital to the meaning of life as a species.
Friere also argues, “education as the practice of freedom — as opposed to the education as the practice of domination — denies that man is abstract, isolated, independent, and unattached to the world….” In short, education, when used in a non-oppressive, open field setting, rather than in a oppressive cell, can blossom the idea of being one with nature around them, and creates a mind wary of the world around it in a manner that allows one to think critically about problems that arise in a practical manner.