Banking Concept of Education Paolo


Not only does the banking concept of education create and maintain an opposition between teacher and student; it also assumes a distinction between human consciousness and external reality. Freire suggests that the practice of “filling” students with knowledge implies that all experience and external phenomena “enter” humans in the same manner, though the idea that data and other intellectual products can “enter” a mind does not necessarily mean that other phenomena reside “in” a person in the same way.

Freire wraps up his argument by claiming that the banking method of teaching

“serves to obviate thinking” (para.14). He does not consider the possibility that thinking on the part of the student can happen naturally, even if not instigated by the teacher. Instead, he insists that “authentic thinkingdoes not take place in ivory tower isolation, but only in communication” (para.

16). While it is true that his banking system of education does not promote communication, and may even condemn it, it cannot in my opinion quell the natural drive to inquiry that exists as part of the human nature of the student. Therefore, while Freires banking concept may indeed favor the maintenance of an oppressive society, it does not and cannot oppress the capability of authentic thought in the students. It is this invincible capacity for thought that serves as the root of all revolutions, despite the best efforts of oppressive regimes and the misguided practices of educators.


Freire, Paolo. “The Banking Concept of Education.” Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Trans. Myra Bergman Ramos. New York: Continuum, 1993..

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