Implicit in the banking concept is the assumption of a dichotomy between man and the world: man is merely in the world, not with the world or with others; man is spectator, not re-creator. In this view, man is not a conscious being (corpo consciente); he is rather the possessor of a consciousness: an empty “mind” passively open to the reception of deposits of reality from the world outside. For example, my desk, my books, my coffee cup, all the objects before me—as bits of the world which surrounds me—would be “inside” me, exactly as I am inside my study right now. This view makes no distinction between being accessible to consciousness and entering consciousness. The distinction, however, is essential: the objects which surround me are simply accessible to my consciousness, not located within it. I am aware of them, but they are not inside me.
The banking concept does not admit to such partnership—and necessarily so. To resolve the teacher-student contradiction, to exchange the role of depositor, prescriber, domesticator for the role of student among students would be to undermine the power of oppression and serve the cause of liberation.
Write a 3-5 page essay in which you discuss a specific way that you see the ideas present in “The Banking Concept of Education” affecting our society. Be sure to give specific examples and to discuss the specific effects and ways that the two things are connected.
However, as it turns out, the concept of systemic risk is not so easy to define in legal terms—as illustrated by the difficulty in nailing down the definition by US Congress via the Dodd-Frank legislation or by the US Treasury and the Federal Deposit Insuranc...
The mentality that follows then is that the more the teacher fills up their students the better a teacher they become. The students on the other hand perceive that the better containers they make themselves, the better students they become. This practice therefore makes education a depositing act where the teachers are the depositors and the students the depositories. The essence of communication in education becomes nullified and education becomes narrowed down to an act of the teacher making deposits that the students receive quite so patiently, memorize and then repeat over and over. This creates the banking concept experienced in today’s education (Bartholomae and Anthony, 1999).
Those who use the banking approach, knowingly or unknowingly (for there are innumerable well-intentioned bank-clerk teachers who do not realize that they are serving only to dehumanize), fail to perceive that the deposits themselves contain contradictions about reality. But, sooner or later, these contradictions may lead formerly passive students to turn against their domestication and the attempt to domesticate reality. They may discover through existential experience that their present way of life is irreconcilable with their vocation to become fully human. They may perceive through their relations with reality that reality is really a process, undergoing constant transformation. If men are searchers and their ontological vocation is humanization, sooner or later they may perceive the contradiction in which banking education seeks to maintain them, and then engage themselves in the struggle for their liberation.
Not based on the inherent ability nor “natural aptitudes” of individuals, the “culture of smartness” is a socially constructed concept that allows banking firms to define what is legitimate and valuable (Bourdieu 1986, 243, Ho 2009, 40, Bourdieu and Eagleton 1994, 269)....
It is not surprising that the banking concept of education regards men as adaptable, manageable beings. The more students work at storing the deposits entrusted to them, the less they develop the critical consciousness which would result from their intervention in the world as transformers of that world. The more completely they accept the passive role imposed on them, the more they tend simply to adapt to the world as it is and to the fragmented view of reality deposited in them.
This solution is not (nor can it be) found in the banking concept. On the contrary, banking education maintains and even stimulates the contradiction through the following attitudes and practices, which mirror oppressive society as a whole:
The raison d’être of libertarian education, on the other hand, lies in its drive towards reconciliation. Education must begin with the solution of the teacher-student contradiction, by reconciling the poles of the contradiction so that both are simultaneously teachers and students.
The capability of banking education to minimize or annul the students’ creative power and to stimulate their credulity serves the interests of the oppressors, who care neither to have the world revealed nor to see it transformed. The oppressors use their “humanitarianism” to preserve a profitable situation. Thus they react almost instinctively against any experiment in education which stimulates the critical faculties and is not content with a partial view of reality but always seeks out the ties which link one point to another and one problem to another.
In the banking concept of education, knowledge is a gift bestowed by those who consider themselves knowledgeable upon those whom they consider to know nothing. Projecting an absolute ignorance onto others, a characteristic of the ideology of oppression, negates education and knowledge as processes of inquiry. The teacher presents himself to his students as their necessary opposite; by considering their ignorance absolute, he justifies his own existence. The students, alienated like the slave in the Hegelian dialectic, accept their ignorance as justifying the teacher’s existence—but, unlike the slave, they never discover that they educate the teacher.
The banking approach to adult education, for example, will never propose to students that they critically consider reality. It will deal instead with such vital questions as whether Roger gave green grass to the goat, and insist upon the importance of learning that, on the contrary, Roger gave green grass to the rabbit. The “humanism” of the banking approach masks the effort to turn men into automatons—the very negation of their ontological vocation to be more fully human.