Is banking concept of education the idea of Pedagogy of the Oppressed?

Is banking concept of education the idea of Pedagogy of the Oppressed?

A Debate about Choosing the Best Education Method. What does it mean to be a well-educated person? And what does it take? The best method to educate individuals has been at the center of intellectual debate for several decades. Scholars who review this field commonly focus on the already existing ways of delivering education as they propose changes that would be made to eliminate drawbacks and enhance the strengths of such systems. Yet, this remains among the most challenging points in determining educational curricula. This is because societies are characterized by diversity and retain differences in preference regarding the academic and intellectual transfer. Thus, achieving a universally accepted and acclaimed system of education is not easily possible. At the same time, several elements remain acceptable as academically stimulating and intellectually meaningful. For these reasons, Paulo Freire contrasts the “banking” concept and the “problem-posing” concept of educational delivery. From his presentations, the banking concept of education is oppressive and retrogressive. On the other hand, the problem-posing idea is progressive, reformist, and open-minded. Nonetheless, some favorable elements can still be picked from the banking concept even as delivery methods are considered.

Although there is no universally accepted definition of education, many reports point to the process of knowledge, skill, and informational transfer. Whereas formal and informal transfer learning can take place passively or actively, it is worth noting that standard set-ups have almost all structured transfer systems. Because of this reason, the “banking” concepts and the “problem-posing” come under scrutiny, especially considering the role they play in intellectual transfer.

Thus in his analysis, Paulo Freire gives a critical and somewhat realistic evaluation of the “banking” concept of education. To begin with, he points out that the teacher-student relationship is one characterized by a more narrative position where there is an ungoverned narrator and a passive listener with the “Subject (the teacher) and patient listening objects (the students)” experiencing a one-way dialogue of learning (37). In seeking to explain the mode used by the teacher, Freire further points out that the reality given by the teacher in this setup is ineffective. He proceeds to justify this by categorizing it as “motionless, static, compartmentalized, and predictable” and with no link to the student’s status of reality (37). By giving the example of a student memorizing the concept of four times four is equal to fourteen without actually perceiving the truth in the units and metrics involved, he justifies the case that educational methods can pass information without actually achieving the goals and objectives of education. In this system, the teacher remains the sole source of information; he is the information bank from which information given to the students is drawn. Contrarily, the student remains a motionless bag, a simple receiver, or, as Freire puts it, “containers,” or “receptacles” to be “filled” by the teachers.”

What is meant by the banking method of education?


In this setup, education becomes “an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories, and the teacher is the depositor.” The fundamental flaw in this system includes beliefs that the teacher should know everything and be the only thinker, talker, disciplinarian, choice maker,  actor, program chooser, and subject. At the same time, the student remains passive as the teacher misconstrues ownership of authority with a monopoly of knowledge (38). This system deprives humans of the power of critique and reason in basic reasoning. It denies them freedom of expression and creates a gap in intellectual dialogue.

Nonetheless, it should be ironic that teachers and students who have mastered this art are professed as the best. Even so, in the education process, there is some kind of content that the student may never know unless instructed. This includes knowledge of technology and technical subjects. Thus although the banking concept is not wholesomely suitable, it may remain relevant in exceptional occasions.

In counter, the “problem-posing” method, where both the teacher and the student can share their thoughts on any subject, is considerably more credence. This method is necessary to give the student a chance to share their ideas with the teacher, which helps them have a deeper understanding of the subject. Besides, nowadays, students do not depend only on schools to learn. Some students learn via surfing the Internet, which can be counted as a reputable source to support their studies by giving extra information that books might not have.

Therefore, teachers can also learn from the knowledge the students share with them while they are discussing any subject. That can also help to have a well-educated generation that the country where they belong to can benefit from and evolve its civilization faster. “Students, as they are increasingly posed with problems relating to themselves in the world and the world, will feel increasingly challenged and obliged to respond to that challenge. Because they apprehend the challenge as interrelated to other problems within a real context, not as a theoretical question, the resulting comprehension tends to be increasingly critical and thus constantly less alienated” (Freire 41). Thus, all of the people who have been practicing the “problem-posing” method will be in the challenging field with the rest of the world who will also be fighting educationally with each other aiming to reach the highest the point of education.



Ebook Patel is an educated Muslim who seeks to redeem the division between people who have different faiths through his education remarks, “Because the most important thing you can learn is how to turn an idea into reality” (Patel 45). Will those in the “banking” concept of education method be able to transform what they study into something tangible? It has an obvious answer which is no! Because they gained their education in a method that did not allow them to think about whether the education they have gained could be helpful for them.

On the other hand, that does not mean that the “banking” concept method is useless because some courses need it, especially with scientific subjects. For instance, they remember the formulas of such scientific issues to resolve the given problems. People willing to be engineers are more likely to deal with the “banking” concept method, where most of the required courses depend on memorization. This means some systems cannot deal with another way rather than the “banking” concept during lectures.

Otherwise, it also has such negative impacts that lead whatever country has the “banking” concept method as it is the primary method in the educational field to be expected to join the behind countries. Seeing such sophisticated countries, people notice that some countries, which use the “banking” concept method, are slowly developing. That emphasizes the belief that cooperating with this method can be counted as an element of going through a harmful crisis that can hardly be solved.

Saudi Arabia is one of the best examples representing the “banking” concept method, where many students prefer studying abroad to avoid being under that method. They believe that when students cannot share their educational experience will decrease their chances of being well-educated. Thus, upon this issue where a lot of Saudis have been suffering from the local educational system, the King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia established King Abdullah Foreign Scholarship Program to provide a chance for those who are not satisfied with the educational method of Saudi Arabia. This program’s result is positive, where Saudi students have experienced various backgrounds in many different countries, such as the United States of America. In Saudi Arabia, several places are contributing to taking those expert students who have graduated from the United States to let them clarify the idea of studying abroad and its advantages.

What is the reason behind those countries which are being distinguished worldwide? Governments with the “problem-posing” method in their educational system allow teachers and students to share their educational experiences in classrooms where both feel comfortable about it. Teachers transfer their education to their students. Nevertheless, since the students have a lot of sources they can learn from them, such as media and the Internet, they will be able to be a part of the discussion given in classes. Moreover, teachers, who gained their education a long ago will likely learn new educational concepts from their students.

The United States of America is counted as one of the suggested places ambitious people would go to achieve their objectives. Based on the method that the United States of America has, this country has become one of the most powerful countries in the educational field. Many international students, who left their home countries to be educated in the United States, have proved how they are well educated in their original countries after completing their degrees. Saudi Arabia can be used as an example to show how successful the “problem-posing” method is. They gained a lot of benefits from students under the “problem-posing” system, where they held high positions in huge companies in their home countries due to their experience while studying in the United States.

To sum up, in the present time, the “problem-posing” method is working much better than the “banking” concept because the entire world is facing evolution. Teachers and students are being targeted where they can learn from each other as long as they deal with the “problem-posing” method. This method allows them to have a long dialogue in classrooms. In addition, some students will learn how to communicate with others, as we know that many educational fields require a skilled person in communication. Students will have high qualifications before joining their future careers.



Works Cited

Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Valparaiso University , N.D.

Patel, Eboo. Acts of Faith. Boston: Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, 2007.


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