“banking education”

Paulo Freire

I’m reading works by Paulo Freire now.

Donna Shalala

It seems to me that major themes that are most widely recognized in Freire are anachronistic in some ways.

An example is the “banking concept” of education. Within education circles, this conception is no longer so prevalent as it was once. We still need to articulate the difference between genuinely liberatory curriculum and the alternative(s), but I think the dominant alternative(s) are no longer expressed in terms of the “banking concept.”

On the other hand, instances of “banking concept” thinking do still abound; for example, in this answer from Donna Shalala, on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday, September 25, 2011:

[Our high school graduates] have to know how to read and write and how to speak. But more than that, they have to know how to absorb new knowledge because we can’t predict what they’re going to need to know 10 years from now. We do know that they have to have a set of skills so they can absorb new technology, so they can understand the new things that are coming at them, and that’s very important.

Instead of teachers filling up the funds of knowledge in their students’ heads, Shalala says they need to learn how to “absorb” new knowledge and skills on their own, after they are done with school.

But the metaphor is still one of accumulating funds of knowledge and skill.

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One Comment

  1. Posted June 28, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment
    but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not
    writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to
    say wonderful blog!


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