Paulo Freire, a Brazilian educator and author of The Banking Concept of Education evaluates the relationship between the teacher and student in the classroom. One specific problem that he points out in the Banking method of education is that students have become containers to be filled by teachers. The more information a student can memorize from class the better the teacher is.
Freire believes that there is another way to educate in the classroom that would not only benefit the students but help the teachers as well. In his method the teacher would begin by explaining his point of view on the subject being taught, then the student could take the information and use it to his or her advantage by using the information and building upon it through their own knowledge and experiences.
In this classroom situation the student has moved from being a spectator to a re-creator, together the teachers and students help each other learning through authentic thinking. Freire s preferred method of teaching, the problem posing approach is when the teacher proposes a topic or question the students express their thoughts on the subject and then the teacher responds with his or her ideas. Both the student and the teacher are able to add to their knowledge using the information from other people s ideas.
In Freire s own words, …the problem-posing educator constantly re-forms his reflections in the reflections of the students. The students-no longer docile listeners-are now critical co-investigators in dialogue with the teacher. The teacher presents the material to the students for their considerations, and re-considers her earlier consideration as the students express their own. (Freire 355) I believe that teachers should use different methods of teaching for each new class they have.
In the problem posing education method the class relies on the input from the students, even classes in the same subject would be different for the teacher each time new students come through. In the banking method the teacher would have the same explanation and lecture, nothing would change for the teacher even with different students. It is important that the teachers learn along with the students so that their arguments and explanations can become more broad and stronger along with each new class.
In my personal experience I have always enjoyed classes where the teacher has maintained a problem posing approach to teaching. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time before the students fully participate in class discussion. There are certain courses that would be easier to teach with the banking method of education, for instance on the first day of a physics class it would be tough for the students to jump right into discussion and make points on new and unfamiliar subject material.
A certain amount of knowledge is required before taking an AP course, and the best way for students keep up with these classes would require some memorization from previous teachers lectures. I think that it should be up to the teacher to decide what mix of teaching methods work best for each course they have. I respect Paulo Freire s problem posing method, it should be used in classes more often. Teachers and students may find that the best method is a combination between the extremes of the banking lecture, and the problem posing interrelationship comparing.