Dear Paulo Freire. I am writing this letter in response to your project entitled "The banking concept of education", which I read in a book called "Ways of Reading". I will start by appreciating the intense contribution that you have offered to the understanding of the manner in which the current form of education is actually undertaken. Much appreciation is the extent of your investigation into the actual contexts of a class and the relationships that subsist between teachers and their students in the classroom environment. I am in complete agreement with you that education is an essential thing in the modern society that we live in. The fundamental point in your project is the manner in which classroom learning process impacts on the students' approach to general issues in their life beyond the scope of the classroom. Of paramount relevance is the nature of exchange and interaction between the teacher and the students. Such interactions are much precipitated in the eventual relationships that students demonstrate in their society. I would like to dissect into some of the crucial areas of your project that I find immensely relevant for redress. I will also delve into the areas of the project that I feel need further clarification to facilitate substantive comprehension. In your view of the "banking concept", you have termed it as a destructive activity that only hinders the intellectual maturation of the students (Freire 247). The application of figurative expression of comatose "collectors" and "receptors" to refer to the students is very much fit in describing the nature of this learning. Reception of information that lacks true and real connection with the students' lives is a form of learning that is headed towards failure if not failed already. The "banking system", as you present it, fails the test of intellectual cultivation. Assumption that a dichotomy exists between a person and the world in which he lives is a gross failure to say the least. Surprisingly, this is evident in the form of learning that is to be found in most classroom environments today.
It is to be appreciated that a teacher plays a crucial role in facilitating the process of learning in the classroom. However, a teacher who plays the role of a dictator, an authoritarian and the very perfect epitome of knowledge is a big disaster to the learning process. Your presentation of the "banking concept" is without doubt out of the study you undertook to understand the nature of learning processes in our society today. This form of learning is somewhat beneficial to learning. For instance, a critical analysis of a classroom context reveals that students differ in their behavior and attitudes. The authority of the teacher to determine what to study and how to adhere to set schedule is helpful in sustaining continuous undisturbed learning. Similarly, discipline is a very essential component of learning that cannot be left under the unreliable hands of the students. The intervention of the teacher on matters of indiscipline is very helpful in ensuring that learning is done in accordance to anticipations. Therefore, I am convinced that your argument here is that in spite of the negative impacts that "banking concept" poses on education, there is need to use some bit of it though not wholly (Freire 253-254).The discussion on "problem-posing education" is somewhat a remedy of the dehumanization that "banking concept" imparts on students. The engagement of the students and teachers in more dialectic enrichments that assist in transfer of knowledge is very helpful in the learning process. I highly support the environment created for learning as it is totally conducive. The fact that the teacher also becomes part of the learning makes learning fun and easy. There is great joy and enthusiasm derived from the comprehension that a teacher learnt something from his/her student. This is not only motivating but completely exciting. It provokes the student to learn more and more so as to receive more applause from the teacher. Similarly, this form of learning creates a sense of faith and confidence in ones intellectual capability. Perhaps there is nothing as important as appreciation of the intellectual potential of a student by the teacher. As the students engage in series of invention and re-invention full learning is enhanced (Freire 244). The process is characterized with direct interaction with the world. Therefore, applicable knowledge is obtained. I find it interesting that you dissected into the "problem-solving education" in a deep manner.
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There are several issues that tend to foster questions concerning the two types of learning you have discussed. For instance, I am concerned that overemphasizing on "problem-solving education" is not quiet proper. My concern hails from the fact that a teacher and the student are in different situations: the student has to pass exams and the teacher will only require a salary. This fact is very relevant in addressing the issue of learning. The question is is it possible to make a teacher and a student equal? Apparently, it is not. This makes "problem-solving education" somehow impossible. Another relevant question is the extent to which a teacher is supposed to demonstrate authority and power. As suggested in your project, "banking concept" is not totally wrong, but how can a teacher combine both forms of learning to achieve most beneficial learning?In conclusion, I appreciate the fact that the article describes two opposite learning approaches. The conflict between them is immense. However, there is possibility that the two approaches can be used concurrently. The question is to what extent? It is true that "banking concept" is not always a bad learning approach. The same is true for the "problem-solving education". In consideration of all these incomplete situations, I feel the need to embark on further study of how the two learning approaches can be combined to yield maximum learning experience. This, of course, cannot be possible without an intense study of the extent to which each of the methods of learning is beneficial and disadvantageous. Sincerely, Andrey Nikolaev.