Current Connection #2

The article my group was assigned to read was assigned to read was Paulo Freire’s piece, “The Banking Concept of Education”. The piece mainly talked about the two main approaches when it comes to teaching; the banking system and the problem solving/problem posing concept of education. After reading this article, I was struck with the question ‘What can we do to make class more interesting?’.

The banking system of education is a concept of education where teachers are seen as narration while students are seen as “containers” or “receptacles”, where the student’s sole purpose is to be “filled” by the teacher. It is a system where the teacher chooses the program content, and the student (who are not consulted) adapt to it. This can be detrimental to a child’s education in the sense that if the student can’t or doesn’t fully grasp the content they have to teach themselves. When it comes to the banking system of education, Paulo Freire describes it as  “The scope of action allowed to the students extends only as far as receiving, filling, and storing the deposits.” Freire thought that this system really damages the true meaning of education where the student and the teacher work as a cohesive group together where it’s not the only the teacher teaching the student but the students can also teach the teacher as well. The problem posing/problem solving method of education is favored by Freire. A problem would be presented by someone in the class and the class would have to discover an answer together. This method creates a classroom of tuned in thinkers for the purpose of liberation from “the old-school way of thinking”. The focus of the problem posing method of education is to establish real world connection and produce students to become life-long learners. Freire preferred this because it allowed the students to think for themselves and form their own opinions rather than being fed information.

After reading Paulo Freire’s article “The Banking Concept of Education” I realized that there was so much more that we as teachers could do to make our classrooms more interesting. I looked at an article on Brown University’s website and saw that they came up with a plethora of activities that teachers could implement in their classroom to embody more of the problem posing method. Activities such as entry/exit tickets, free writing/minute paper, pair share, debates, and jigsaw. I can say that during my middle and high school career, I have participated in all of these activities, except the jigsaw method. jigsaw is an activity where students are grouped into two groups to analyze a reading or solve a problem. “These can be done in one of two ways – either each team works on completing a different portion of the assignment and then contributes their knowledge to the class as a whole, or within each group, one student is assigned to a portion of the assignment (the jigsaw comes from the bringing together the various ideas at the end of the activity to produce a solution to the problem)”. After looking at these different activities I definitely think that we have the tools to make classes more interesting, it just takes the teacher to implement them and take the extra step to make class more fun and engaging.

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