Paolo Friere and Richard Rodriguez consider education as the major factor in one’s life through their writing. They have the conviction that education either makes people achieve superiority or fall to the masses of “bankers”. “The Banking Concept of Education” by Friere and “The Achievement of Desire” by Rodriguez virtually resemble each other but there are some minute differences between the two. Irrespective of the differences, both writings come to a general inference that education shapes a person to what he or she will become in future. They both observe that education is crucial for a person’s success. Rodriguez clearly puts it that the education that he received is a chief element in what both of them refer to as “banking education”. They have the conviction that this type of education is nearly useless as it is the same as listening to someone speaking and then regurgitating all that has been said. This does not contribute to the development of an individual or the society in general because as long as no new ideas are generated, progress will never take place. In this document, Freire’s Banking Concept of Education will be applied to Rodriguez’s Achievement of Desire.
Brief Overview of Freire’s Educational Banking
Freire describes a very common scenario in modern learning. He asserts that teachers make deposits of chunks of information, which dormant students are expected to receive, internalize and recite. It is thus a transmission of knowledge from the experts to the less experienced that is subject to object (Williams p1). He further observes that the more students are expected to the chunks of information delivered to them by the teachers, the less their skills to critical consciousness are developed, which would have otherwise developed from a constant interaction with the rest of the world transformers. To change this kind of education, liberating measures can only start by solving the teacher-student contradiction and reconciling the two extremes to make both of them teachers and students at the same time.
A Brief Overview of Rodriguez’s “The Achievement of Desire”
“The Achievement of Desire” is basically about a certain man who found himself entangled within the bondage of education. All through his life, he has an unquenchable quest of reading books and learning more and more every day. In his tender age, he was a child who ever raised his hand in class, and would ever be found reading books all by himself at home. He was from a middle class family which made efforts to get to where they were in the social structure. In spite of the fact that his parents were somewhat educated, they still struggled to earn a living. The young man lived in two worlds, as he separated his school life from his family. He felt that he was all by himself irrespective of the fact that his siblings were pretty smart. He also had great parents but he ever convinced himself that there was not a slightest bond attached to them and school, and he thus preferred keeping them somewhat at bay (Beccary p1).
He had the urge to please his teachers and their perception of what was the Western culture. Being engrossed in books, his family was forgotten and became irrelevant with regards to his future. He believed that the books contained answers to everything that he wanted to know, but later he realized that all that he believed in was the author’s point of view and he was barred from living in his own understanding. Richard’s family lacked Western education and he hated them for this. He considered his parents stupid for what they did not know. This education finally separated him culturally from his family, but it is the same education that later made him realize his mistakes and ridicule it. He later understood that thorough self-reformation is a key element in education. This is different from what he was earlier working for as he wanted to totally reject his entire family due to lack of self-esteem (Hannah p1).
Application of the Two Writings to the Daily Living
People often take for granted the support and love that their cultural societies, and particularly the families can offer them. They basically do not capitalize on their supportive parents and siblings as Rodriguez did. Although his parents lived selfless lives in order to support him, their minority status in the society and lack of education differentiated them from the rest of the proud parents. Renowned as a “scholarship boy”, he was ever successful and regarded as the prized student. Though he was initially proud of notifying his parents of his academic success, he later became discontented with their “ignorant” status and no longer notified them of his progress.
This account concurs with Freire’s observation that modern education is an opportunity for instructors, who he refers to as oppressors, to fill learners with chunks of information as they submissively receive it. There is, therefore, no reciprocal learning and sharing between the student and the teacher. Majority of the modern teachers fit in Freire’s description but there are a few who have managed to transform the traditional teaching mode and come up with suitable teaching methods that encourage simultaneous teaching and learning of both the teacher and the learner (Lane p2). These are known as progressive educators. They assist students in soaring to higher levels of awareness, especially in areas that relate to oppression and exploitation. Additionally, it equips students with the courage of being disregarded and looked down upon as objects in a society where only the subjects have power. The process calls for pinpointing contradictions, both overt or covert, and seeking solutions through dialogue, as well as participating in the global changing processes. Rather than banking methods, such educators should strive to use problem-solving tactics to teach the learners. Use of such techniques encourages people to develop personal powers to perceive things in the world they exist in and in their respective nature. This enables them to perceive the world not as a motionless reality, but as a reality in the course of transformation.
The constant interaction in class between the teachers and the students enables both parties reflect on the fast-changing world and devise a valid form of thought and action of tackling issues. It is only through this method that education can be changed. Otherwise, it will ever be static. People ought to be encouraged to remain focused, as well as hope and plan for the future rather than wait for things to solve themselves. The approach is deemed effective, as it does not and it will never support the interests of the oppressor (Williams p5). Teachers should also sensitize the learners on the need of heeding their parents, siblings and generally their families’ advice. They should also be encouraged to take advantage of their supportive parents and siblings, and above all not to despise them. Learning from Rodriguez’s experience, his excessive value for education and despising his parents left him not only confused but also angry. Though his intention was to hurt his father and mother, he ended up getting vexed at them for they encouraged him to join an English class.
Rodriguez later learnt that the peers that he supported at school wanted him to fail, as they felt challenged by the fact of a minority outshining them. He tried to imitate his teachers in order to fill the gap of self-confidence that he lacked. Though he considered mimicking his teachers as a key factor to success, he regarded himself as a bad student for doing that. This reveals that imitation does not always lead to success, as Rodriguez’s intelligence took him nowhere apart from where his mocking abilities reached. At this level, everything turned against his world, but he perseveringly pressed on to search for what he had missed through his entire life. He comprehended that the things he had been running away from were the very things that he desperately needed. After this realization, he made a general inference that one’s closeness with his or her parents was something that one should not be ashamed of. After realizing this, his education had ended and he started finding life meaningful. His quest was, therefore, to find a balance between his childhood home life, and the life that he had decided to embark on (Yahoo! Inc p4).
Practically, people should not assume that education should lead to critical thinking. Instead, education should be completely reformed, so that consciousness and critical thinking should be evident from the very beginning. Education should encourage learners to put the knowledge they acquired into practice to serve problems. Learners should manifest their love for love and literal actions to transform the world. Modern education should encourage learners to develop new ways of looking at things which are different from those that existed earlier on. This reveals the secret of shaping an adult, i.e. thinking critically and adopting new ways of solving problems.
Education often alienates students from their cultural situation but Rodriguez suggests that one should abandon his or her initial thinking in order to attain individual thinking. Rodriguez also believes that sometimes students have to alienate themselves from the rest of the family in order to achieve academic success after which one reunites with the family. He believes that these two environments are not favorable for academics and proposes that though students should not completely abandon their parents, they should dedicate most of their childhood time to academics. Learners should be closer to the teachers than to parents in order to grasp each and every concept that is being taught.
One’s power increases as he or she becomes more and more educated throughout his or her life. Success of an individual is sometimes associated with the academic success of a person. When Rodriguez joins college, his power increases and he gets grounds to call his basis successful. He cannot feel whether he has accomplished his dreams until he becomes a “scholarship boy”. The end product of the entire course in education should, therefore, be establishing humanization in the learner and enable him or her to fit comfortably in the society. Through his experiences in life, Rodriguez is able to explain the concept of education and reveal some of the critical areas that should be considered in education, as well as ways of coping with them.
In order to reform the education system from its traditional process, one of the main areas that ought to be considered is making the teaching method student-based by allowing students to participate in class and letting them carry out a greater number of activities than they previously did. Instead of the teacher teaching everything all through, students should be allowed to learn things by themselves, and the teacher should also be willing to learn from them. The belief that the teacher knows everything and the learner knows nothing should also be shunned. Learners should be allowed to sometimes express their opinions, as the teachers might find themselves learning from the students (Corbett p10).
It is also believed that teachers have the sole right to enforce their choices, while their students should comply. This creates an environment where the teacher dictates everything that takes place within the school environment, including things students are not comfortable with. As such, the teacher becomes the subjectt, while the learner becomes just a mere object. This makes the teacher confuse students with his or her authority of knowledge and students have to sacrifice their freedom to please the teacher. This makes them grow timid and they are ever intimidated by minor things for the rest of their lives.
As earlier mentioned, Paolo Friere and Richard Rodriguez consider education as the major factor in one’s life through. Despite differences in their writings, they both agree that education is a key factor that shapes a person into what he or she becomes in future. It is, therefore, crucial for the teachers, parents, authorities and other concerned parties to think of the best strategy to educate children and make them useful members of the society and feasible tools of transformation. Students should be contented with the education that they are receiving in school and it should make them useful in future. Generally, the end product of the entire education process should be a happy individual with the capacity to solve problems and make new inventions.