What is the thesis statement in the banking concept of education by Paulo Freire?

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rareynolds eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Freire uses the metaphor of the bank to describe the transactional model of education, one in which the teacher provides ”facts,” which the students duly memorize and recite on tests. Freire writes:

Education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiques and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat. This is the “banking” concept of education, in which the scope of action allowed to the students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits.

Freire’s criticism of this method lies in the fact that it requires very little of students and does not teach them to critically evaluate what they are being taught. Freire continues:

Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry, human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.

Freire’s criticism of the “banking” model is based on a larger critique of society. The teacher/student hierarchy of the classroom supports an uncritical acceptance of the dominant (capitalist) ideology. True learning is based on freedom of inquiry, a respect for each other as individuals collectively struggling for truth, and, most importantly, the idea that what is learned in the classroom has larger and long-lasting applications in the real world. That is to say, the “banking” system of education is completely self-contained: students learn facts to repeat them on a test, and the test only measures how many facts have been learned. For Freire, the has to be a purpose to education beyond the classroom; it is, in other words, a collaborative, creative process that results in real social change.

thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The term "thesis statement" applies to very short, formulaic essays by students, in which one or two sentences in the first paragraph of the essay set forth the writer's thesis and thus form a "thesis statement". Although longer and more sophisticated works have a "thesis" in the sense of a stance or point of view, in general, they do not possess a "thesis statement", as their ideas are longer and more complex than can be encapsulated in one or two sentences. 

The "banking model" of education acts as Paulo Freire's bête noire in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, the model of bad capitalist education, and associated with the evils of banking, which Freire also sees as an emblem of capitalist oppression. It should be noted that no system of education describes itself as a "banking model"; this term was created by Friere to describe systems he opposed, and thus forms somewhat of a straw man. 

For Freire, critical pedagogy is the polar opposite of the "banking model", and involves the learning thinking critically about material as opposed to simply memorizing it. Much of Friere's opposition to educational "banking" has to do with the Marxist notion of bourgeois ideology and the need for critique thereof; critical pedagogy and opposition to "banking" is thus firmly embedded in the notion of radical critique of false ideology.

clarissadncn | Student

What is the thesis sentence in the banking concept of education?

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