Banking and Problem Posing Summary

This is a short summary of the main tenets of Banking and Problem-Posing Education as portrayed by Paulo Friere...with Commentary by David H. Kessel.



Mythicizing of reality
----Concealing of certain facts which explain the way men exist in the world
Resists Dialogue of Equals
Students are objects of assistance
Inhibits Creativity—domesticates
Immobilizes/fixates men as non-historical "things"
Emphasizes Permanence---becomes reactionary
Reinforces Fatalistic perception of man’s situation


Task of demythologizing reality
Regards Dialogue as indispensable to the act of cognition (thinking)
Students are Critical Thinkers
BASED ON Creativity and stimulates authentic reflection and action
BASED ON men as moving/changing historical beings
Rooted in a Dynamic Present—becomes revolutionary
Presents man’s situation as a PROBLEM in need of attention


“Banking” is not “wrong”...but rather, IS an alienating way of doing something which humans NEED to do...that is, communicate descriptions and ideas of the world/reality to and with others. Thus, we need to recognize the LIMITS of the Banking approach, discarding that which hinders EDUCATION, while NOT losing sight of the task it envelopes and DISTORTS. Thus, Problem-Posing isn’t the absence “information” or “facts.” Rather, it is the problematic co-development OF information ABOUT reality, including our very engagement in DOING SO...AS information. This energizes the process of EDUCATION while diminishing the effects of SCHOOLING)...AND transforms the teachers into students arid the students into teachers. It re-humanizes and reunites that which, although actually a unity, has been split/separated by using the “form” or method we are calling “Banking.” It de-objectifies BOTH student AND teacher, calling forth recognition that the very process of education is a PROBLEM that is POSED to all participants in their joint desires to accomplish it. The alternative is to take it for granted. Banking is predicated on a profound DISTRUST of humans, although this is largely UNINTENDED and UNPERCEIVED by those staffing the Banking Schools. Problem-Posing BEGINS with a profound TRUST in humans, expecting them to be responsible for their lives. This responsibility is nothing to take for granted...especially if authentic freedom is desired.