Surprise! Freire is Still Relevant

Reading through some of Freire’s thoughts and ideas and hearing them from him in an interview has been interesting.  Critical thinking and moving away from the sage on the stage views of education have been going on since I started grad school. Rarely though does this come up in class.  Frequently this is what I hear seasoned veteran professors talking about.  “Talking” is a nice way to put it.   I have always heard how the incoming classes have no capacity for critical thinking.  Only recently have I heard them share the little nuances that make their classes more successful.  Things like letting your personality shine through in you courses.

Mostly though, this banking model of education is interesting.  I have always thought it is such a shame that students are so busy that they can only “learn” material for a test.  So much of the curiosity that compels us to explore is squashed under the pressure of learning for the test.  I think that many courses still employ the banking model.  I have always thought about it as the “bucket theory.”  Where every exam grade requires one specific bucket worth of information to be regurgitated by the student in an ordered fashion that fits the exam.  In filling their own bucket before such exams the students have isolating themselves to that task singularly.  That is to say, they are only capable of fitting one specific goal into their span of attention, and when the bucket has been emptied, the student is left with a void.  Not a knowledge base, a starting point, a different perspective, just a bucket that has been filled and emptied to satisfy grade requirements.

I want to learn more about Freire and what helped him to become so much more aware of what is going on in the current classroom models, especially because I too think of myself as curious.

4 Responses to “Surprise! Freire is Still Relevant”

  • Kspooner says:

    You thought about how “it is such a shame that students are so busy that they can only “learn” material for a test” make me wonder about the pressure and time limits within education. We are so set on finishing our education within a certain time period. We have this attitude of getting in and out of school in some ways. I think it partly comes from the issue of how much higher education costs, which is a whole different debate. However, it also comes from the pressures based on how others have performed and the requirements the school places on learning. Do we need to slow down in order to avoid the pressure of the “bucket theory?”

  • Najla says:

    I agree! And maybe all the pressure and hurry are really due to the fact that all lives are becoming more and more defined by money and other capitalist values. I mean: the mentality of consumption is increasingly present is the way we study and prepare to life. Education itself is viewed like a commodity and “everybody should study to get a better position in life”, socially, but mainly, economically speaking. “To be someone” in this world is to have means to buy or access things. I think it’s just sad. Thanks for the post and comment!

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