Paulo Freire Essay

1787 Words8 Pages
The Private Liberation
Paulo Freire introduces the idea of a “problem-posing” education system in his book The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which offers a highly effective alternative to the traditional method of memorizing facts that he deems the “banking” concept of education. Problem posing allows individuals to expand their own thoughts, ideas, and opinions through open discussion in a classroom setting. I went through such an experience senior year in my Comparative Government class, which focused on different governments along with the key social and economic issues they face. While many may argue that the “banking” concept has some value in certain issues, the alternative in problem-posing offers a broader experience in which
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The subject of government is engrained in peoples’ minds as being a “history subject” but the class showed that in reality it is a living, changing, and expanding subject. Freire describes this loss of meaning in the first page when he says “…Contents which are detached from reality, disconnected from totality that engendered them and could give them significance. Words are emptied of their concreteness and become a hollow, alienated, and alienating verbosity” (318). A “banking” education class would have had students sitting in straight rows staring at the white board fiercely copying every single detail that the teacher wrote down about each of the governments, and in the minds of the students these would be concrete unchanging situations. If someone were to come into a discussion that the class was having, while wearing a blindfold, it would be a difficult task to identify the instructor of the course because each student had a new and different perspective on the article. The teacher, although presumed to have more knowledge than all of us as students, never exerted his own thoughts and ideas as authoritative and absolute but offered ideas and perspective the same way that each student brought their own opinions to the table. The focus was for each student to foster his or her analytical skills,
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