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October 4, 2013
A Debate about Choosing the Best Education Method
What does it mean to be a well-educated person? And what does it take? The question about the best method to educate individuals has been at the center of intellectual debate for several decades. Commonly, scholars who review this field focus on the already existing methods of delivering education as they propose changes that would be made to eliminate drawbacks and enhance the strengths of such systems. Yet, this remains one of the most challenging points in determining educational curriculum. This is because societies are characterized by diversity and retain differences in preference in terms of educational and intellectual transfer. Thus, it is not easily possible to achieve a universally accepted and acclaimed system of education. At the same time, there are a number of elements that remain acceptable as academically stimulating and intellectually important. It is for these reasons that 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 concept is progressive, reformist, and open minded. Nonetheless, there are still some favorable elements that can be picked from the banking concept even as delivery methods are considered.
Although there is no universally accepted definition of education, many definitions point to the process of knowledge, skill, and informational transfer. Whereas formal and informal transfer of knowledge can take place passively or actively, it is worth noting that formal set-ups have almost all structured systems of transfer. It is because of this reason that the two; “banking” concept and the “problem-posing” come into scrutiny, especially considering the role they play in intellectual transfer.
Thus in his analysis, Paulo Freire gives a critical and rather 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 reality 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.”
In this setup, education summarily becomes “an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor.” The elements that create the fundamental flaw in this system include beliefs that the teacher should know everything, be the only thinker, talker, disciplinarian, choice maker, actor, program chooser, and the subject while the student remains passive as the teacher misconstrues ownership of authority with monopoly of knowledge (38). In basic reasoning, this system deprives humans of the power of critique and reason. It denies them freedom of expression and creates a gap in intellectual dialogue. Nonetheless, it should be ironical that teachers and students who have mastered this art are professed as the best. Even so, in the process of education, 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 of the teacher and the student can share their thoughts of any subject is considerably of more credence. The necessity for this method is to give the student a chance to share his/her thoughts to the teacher, which helps letting him/her to 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 decent source to support their studies by giving extra information that the books might not have.
Therefore, teachers can also learn from the knowledge that the students share with them while they are having a dialogue of any subject. That can also help to have a well-educated generation that the country where they belong to can get benefit from and evolve its civilization in faster way. “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 t.............
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