The Instigator
Sitkoc
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
MichaelSmith4
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Friere's theory of education is effective than Hirsch's

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/7/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 948 times Debate No: 32192
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

Sitkoc

Pro

In the essay, "Pedagogy of the Oppressed- Chapter 2," Paolo Friere outlines the "banking" concept of education as "Education...becomes the act of depositing...students are the depositories...the teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiques and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat." As described by Friere, the "banking" concept of education is quite oppressive, and unfortunately, that is the system utilized by the United States educational system. This form of education is overbearing and misguided. Students are not just empty vaults waiting to be filled with "the necessary knowledge," they are human beings, that have their own thoughts and experiences to relate. Furthermore, according to the "banking" concept of education, there is certain knowledge that is deemed more "important" than some. A "one-size-fits-all" approach to education is deeply flawed for any society that promotes freedom, as this relegates some individuals as ignorant peasants, and praises a meritocracy over actual learning. For example, one day during her husband's presidency, Jackie Kennedy Onassis visited an Indian reservation. Since it was Columbus Day, the children had to write composition on what Christopher Columbus means to them, and he "positively" shaped history for them. Now, does this not seem remarkably cruel? To force the oppressed to praise the source of their oppression? Moving forward, according to Friere, who recorded a quote by Eric Fromm in the same essay, that the "banking" concept of education is "necrophilic," as "Oppression...is nourished by the love of death...Based on a mechanistic, static, naturalistic, spatialized view of consciousness, it transforms students into receiving objects. It attempts to control thinking and action, leads men to adjust to the world, and inhibits their creative power...[and] men suffer." Thus, by practicing the "banking" concept of education, the teacher is denying the "student's" humanity, treating him or her as a mindless receptacle of "knowledge," and nothing more. This theory finds critical thought downright threatening, and corrosive to their control. By forcing all the students into a single category of imbeciles, the system promotes pedantic recitation over true learning.
MichaelSmith4

Con

You stated "This form of education is overbearing and misguided. Students are not just empty vaults waiting to be filled with 'the necessary knowledge,' they are human beings, that have their own thoughts and experiences to relate.", but this is the way school systems have work forever, and if it was misguided how is it that it hasn't been changed? It's worked for generations before, and it'll work for generations to come. As stated by Hirsch, "We Americans have long accepted literacy as a paramount aim of schooling, but only recently have some of us who have done research in the field begun to realize that literacy is far more than a skill and that it requires large amounts of specific information." (1.2).
Debate Round No. 1
Sitkoc

Pro

Just because something has been the status quo does not mean that it is beneficial to the progression of society. For example, slavery was a natural part of life in most areas, but more recently continued in the United States. Even after a slave became a "free man," he was still quite bound by the sharecropping trade, as well as the fact that, for a significant majority, he was still "uneducated;" both by the "banking" concept standards, and even by Friere's standards. Using methods similar to Hirsch's style of teaching, former slaves were suppressed, because their oppressors taught them that they were worthless. However, Friere states, in "Pedagogy of the Oppressed- Chapter 2" pg. 4: "Liberation is a praxis: the action and reflection of men upon their world in order to transform it." He goes on to state: "Those truly committed to the cause of liberation can accept neither the mechanistic concept of consciousness as an empty vessel to be filled, nor the use of banking methods of domination (propaganda, slogans-deposits) in the name of liberation." Men must be able to question the "teacher" in order to truly learn, otherwise they are forced down a narrow avenue of skewed thinking that leads them right where their oppressors want them to be. Communication is the essence of learning; the "banking" concept rejects communication, in exchange for one-way communiques, not dissimilar from television or radio signals in their functionality. Furthermore, the "banking" concept suggests that the "teacher" is all-knowing, or too arrogant to learn anything outside his tiny view of the world. In spite of their seeming power, teachers are people too, and thus, not all-knowing. Friere wrote that: "Men teach each other, mediated by the world, by cognizable objects which in the 'banking' education are 'owned' by the teacher." Lastly, the "banking" concept may, I concede, connect some to a "common level of understanding," but when everyone is brought to the same level, some rise, others fall.
MichaelSmith4

Con

Slavery cannot be compared to an education system. For one, slavery was holding people against their will to serve another and the banking system certainly doesn't hold anyone against free will. Slavery was abolished for that reason. On the other hand, the banking system is still in full swing to this day; you sit in class while the teacher "banks" the information to you. If it wasn't an effective mean of education, how is it so many of us have made it to colegiate levels of education and beyond with it? You went on to state "Men must be able to question the "teacher" in order to truly learn, otherwise they are forced down a narrow avenue of skewed thinking that leads them right where their oppressors want them to be.", but I don't agree with that. As children were we not all taught basic multiplication and spelling through the banking system without question? Was the teacher not "depositing" information to us that we repeated and memorized and can still recite to this day? And without these basics that were "deposited" on us, could one be considered literate at all? As Hirsch states, "The chief function of literacy is to make us masters of this standard instrument of knowledge and communication..." (2.2).
Debate Round No. 2
Sitkoc

Pro

I concede, Hirsch's "banking" concept does hold some weight in regards to matters that do not really require much critical thought, such as arithmetic, but that is all. Still, as my opponent stated, "Was the teacher not 'depositing' information to us that we repeated and memorized and can still recite to this day?" Repeating, memorizing, and reciting? To me, and, I presume, to Friere as well, that would not appear to be actual learning, but rather, a sort of "scholastic muscle reflex," wherein, there was a pseudo-intelligent response, that did not, in fact, depend upon a comprehensive utilization of one's mental faculties. Furthermore, my opponent wrote: "For one, slavery was holding people against their will to serve another and the banking system certainly doesn't hold anyone against free will." The "banking" system doesn't hold anyone against, eh? In the United States, at least, education until sixteen years of age is mandatory; and since it is mandatory, there are some "students" that are presumably in school against their will. Nonetheless, for anyone to learn, both "students" and "teachers" must speak a common language, so that they can communicate. This is not Hirsch's theory, as he suggests that the only key to "literacy" is if we all know the same things and never deviate from what is already known. As Hirsch wrote in his book, Literacy and Cultural Literacy, "[Dr. Hilary] Putnam does acknowledge a limit on the degrees of ignorance and vagueness that are acceptable in discourse. 'Significant communication,' he observes, 'requires that people know something of what they are talking about.' ...What is required for communication is often so vague and superficial that we can properly understand and the word elm without being able to distinguish an elm tree from a beech tree. What we need to know in order to use and understand a word is an initial stereotype that has a few vague traits." What Friere and I likely gathered from that rather pompous display of verbosity, is that to know "everything," we must only know a few key stereotypes, and we can endure in a "bank driven" society, so long as we learn very little, but profess that we are, in fact, enlightened. While this is all well and good for an individual, how does this benefit society as a whole, if we must constantly fall back on established stereotypes in lieu of actual substance? The answer to this question is: that it doesn't. The "banking" concept has worked wonders with countries with such outstanding records of preserving human rights, such as China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, etc. etc. Is this the kind of system that you, the reader, want to live in?
MichaelSmith4

Con

So let me get this straight, you said "Repeating, memorizing, and reciting? To me, and, I presume, to Friere as well, that would not appear to be actual learning, but rather, a sort of 'scholastic muscle reflex,'", but is this "scholastic muscle reflex" you speak off not a form of learning? I'm sure you can still spell those basic words you had to write over and over again as a child. Or the multiplication table, right? Why? Because of the "scholastic muscle reflex" form of learning. When you were taught new words and definitions growing up, was the "scholastic muscle reflex" the successful toll that helped you do so? You also wrote "The "banking" system doesn't hold anyone against, eh? In the United States, at least, education until sixteen years of age is mandatory; and since it is mandatory, there are some "students" that are presumably in school against their will.". Now is it the education system that holding students against their will? Or is it the government and national law? Even if, slavery was to be owned as property to an oppressor for their own benefits. This differs for the fact the government has these laws in place to increase the already low level of literacy in the youth. Not for their benefit, but for the sake of the children. this goes to show you the government is fully invested in the banking system, because it works. So, I'll leave you with these final questions; has the "banking" system of education not worked for many generations, and probably worked in your case of education also? How about your professors, friends, roommates? Why is it our government would have laws in place to keep the children in these systems that don't work? So how is it you can claim it's "overbearing and misguided"?
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
No votes have been placed for this debate.