The Instigator
LadyAshleyS
Pro (for)
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The Contender
alisondc
Con (against)
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The banking concept of education is oppressive

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/7/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,732 times Debate No: 32200
Debate Rounds (3)
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LadyAshleyS

Pro

After reading "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by Paolo Freire, I strongly believe that the banking concept of education is overwhelming and bleak. According to Freire, the banking concept of education could be defined as "the teacher issues communiqu"s and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat". In other words, is the student actually understanding what he/she is "learning" or is the student simply memorizing the material that was provided? What is education when a child does not understand the meanings and connotations of information embedded into their brains? In reality, education is nothing when it comes to memorization. Practically anyone has the ability to memorize any piece of information. However, being able to explain the information might become the challenging task. For example, a student could know that the capital of the United States is Washington D.C., yet not know the history of why it this district was selected to be the nation"s capital. That is what most teachers have failed to make clear and explain; the history behind the facts themselves. The banking concept of education is oppressive because teachers have taught students to be ignorant and unaware of material that is vital to their learning.
alisondc

Con

According to Paolo Freire, he believes education involves and requires a relationship between two beings. He terms it the teacher-student relationship where the teacher is the "narrating subject" and the student is the "patient and listening object". Millions of students go to school everyday to learn what they do not know. They receive this information from teachers. You say education is oppressive when in reality, education is exactly what it entails. These students look to teachers to learn what they do not know. And how else is it done? It is done by a ready-to-learn and open mind on behalf of a student. They must take in all their teacher tells them as this is how their education forms and their minds to adapt to the information they are learning for the first time. For example, in math class, how will one be able to learn? The teacher explains to the student why 2+2=4 and the student will retain that information. In this way, the students must look to their teachers for information they otherwise would not know, making education a relationship and process instead of oppressive.
Debate Round No. 1
LadyAshleyS

Pro

In your argument you state that "education requires a relationship between two beings". I agree on your statement 100%, nonetheless, a relationship without communication could be a predicament to most. Freire mentions that teachers and students lack communication because of the banking concept of education. The absence of communication is displayed when the teacher distributes information and the student absorbs it. Questions that aren"t asked are questions that aren"t answered. However, the students are not the ones to be blamed for in this situation.
The role of a teacher is to provide facts with explanations and reason behind those explanations. A teacher is supposed to make the material more understandable to the pupils. Freire says that "knowledge is a gift bestowed by those who consider themselves knowledgeable upon those whom they consider to know nothing". Teachers acquire the feelings of superiority, dominance, and authority just because they are getting paid to teach those who know nothing. Yet, Freire claims that teachers know nothing as well.
Over the years teachers have projected ignorance amongst students who "receive, file, and store" this ignorance into their minds. Freire argues that as a teacher attempts to teach students, the students are teaching the teachers as well. The banking concept of education is oppressive because it "minimizes the students" creative power" and allows them to believe and memorize every word that comes out the instructor"s mouth. The banking concept of education makes students merely gullible at the same time ignorant because they have memorized information without knowledge and meaning behind it.
Again, lack of communication makes it difficult for relationships to work compatibly with one another, which leads to a wrongfully taught education.
alisondc

Con

I agree with your concluding statement saying that miscommunication makes it difficult for the teacher-student relationship to work resulting in a wrongful education , however, it is not the main focus of this argument.
Just because teachers teach information that the students may not fully understand does not make it oppressive. I am sure many people have left a classroom after a discussion not really understanding the entire concept that was just taught to them. That does not make education oppressive; it ultimately makes it a process. Even the smartest of men was once without knowledge. This leads me to my next point. As Hirsch said, "It is the background information, stored in their minds, that enables them to take up a newspaper and read it [...] relating what they read to the unstated context ." Although you stated that teachers have no knowledge, I believe this to be false. Teachers are purposely placed in front of a classroom to guide students in the right path of their education, not to feel superior among others (as you previously stated). And what does this guidance entail? It entails teaching the students about the common knowledge that they will need in order to fully grasp whatever comes there way later in life. This is what Hirsch means. In order to read a newspaper, you have to know how to read. Teachers are there to help the students with their readings, not to tell them what to read, which would definitely be oppressive. Without them how would students read? How would they write? How would they speak? In this way education is not oppressive, rather it is a process that requires common knowledge which is provided by teachers.
Debate Round No. 2
LadyAshleyS

Pro

When you mentioned "In order to read a newspaper, you have to know how to read" I completely agreed. But the fact that you disagree that teachers have no knowledge confuses me. Teachers are only teaching what"s in the textbooks. They explain the ABC"s and 123"s, they explain how to pronounce each letter and how to add the numbers up. I"m not saying that teachers have no knowledge whatsoever and neither is Freire. What he means is that teachers are only teaching what"s found in the books. What about the reality of life and society? They should teach that as well too. Teaching within the curriculum is mandatory, but there is nothing wrong with providing students with information and useful knowledge beyond that.
Freire mentions that "Those who use the banking approach, knowingly or unknowingly, fail to perceive that the deposits themselves contain contradictions about reality". Which leads me back to my first point in this round, it is highly possible that what the instructor has taught and what the student has memorized does not match what happens in reality. For example, if an instructor says that terrorists from Afghanistan were the reason behind 9/11, a student might begin to believe that everyone from Afghanistan is out to harm the United States. What the student should know is that it"s not everyone from Afghanistan or people from there want to harm us, it"s a universal matter. Different countries have tried to harm the U.S. and are still in the process of doing so. In situations like these, students can begin to change their beliefs and values about the real world. Freire says that "these contradictions may lead formerly passive students to turn against their domestications and attempt to domesticate reality".
The banking concept of education is oppressive because students have no understanding behind the history of slaves, the history of the United States, or the history of long division and how it works. It is oppressive because the relationship between students and teachers does not flow so well because the lack of communication. The students simply absorb the information with no reciprocal actions for the teacher. It is oppressive because teachers believe they know everything while students are viewed to know nothing. Lastly, as stated, it is oppressive because student are learning nothing but memorizing a lot.
alisondc

Con

I disagree with you when you state that teachers only educate based off a book. When you make that statement you are assuming that all teachers become textbook zombies. Although there are some teachers who are guilty of this, not all succumb to the power of their books. For example, and not for the sake of my argument, I have been enrolled in several classes where there have been no text books involved. Instead, in these classes, the teachings were provided and based off of current and real life situations. Instead of learning about the statistics of immigrants living in this country as of now, I learned why they are living here and how they are progressing. This thinking in a real aspect is dubbed as "authentic thinking" by Paolo Freire, which in turn sparks minds into thinking creatively as well as realistically. In this case, education is oppressive depending on how you view the class teachings.

Education requires two beings: one to teach and inform, and one to listen and think. The teacher stands in front of the room to directly inform all the students respectively, not to gain a sudden burst of confidence and authority. The student must have an open mind in order to grasp the information because in many instances it might be the first time they are even receiving that information. After all, those who are students wish to learn new information that they have never learned before, which makes the "banking system" of education a mind boggling process instead of an oppression.
Debate Round No. 3
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