The scholarship boy: banking concept

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  • Publicado : 3 de febrero de 2011
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In education, there is what we call “good” teachers or “bad” teachers, but who is to say which one is which? Maybe we think about it in this way because we prefer one way of educating over another. Whichever way is best, Paulo Freire does not fail to criticize and compliment two of the teaching methods in “The ‘Banking’ Concept of Education.” The two he focuses on is, of course, the “banking”concept and the “problem-posing” concept. Richard Rodriguez also gives examples of how he experienced both of these in “The Achievement of Desire.” Although he does not use the banking concept or problem-posing concept to describe what he went through, he does use a different source to relate himself to. This source he uses is the notion of a “scholarship boy” that he has learned about fromreading The Uses of Literacy by Richard Hoggart. Rodriguez uses intertextuality in his writing to give more credibility to his argument of how he is a scholarship boy. I, myself, have experienced both the banking concept and the problem-posing concept throughout my education and I can very much relate to the positive and negative things about both of them, just as Rodriguez does.
I, just as mostother students and Rodriguez, have mostly experienced the type of education that is referred to as the “banking” concept. This is where, similar to banks, education “becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor” (Freire 244). We take all this information that is given to us and just store and memorize it but have nothing more to do withit. It sits there, in our mind. Rodriguez does this excessively throughout his whole education. In school, Rodriguez idolized his teachers and was angry at his parents for not being more like them. He writes, “The very first facts they dispensed, I grasped with awe. Any book they told me to read, I read” (549). He mimicked all their ways in order to become them and get rid of his Spanishaccent. This is an example of Freire’s theory of the banking concept because Rodriguez wanted to be so much like his teachers that he began to copy everything they did and learn everything they taught him. There were plenty of times in my education where I was told to copy things that my teachers were trying to teach me and I realize that I was learning through Freire’s banking concept.
Onespecific incident where I remember experiencing this “banking” concept was when I was in third grade, during my elementary school years. Every week, on Mondays, we were given a worksheet that we had to fill in with the facts about a certain state. The teacher would write up on the board the answer to what the state bird was, the population, the capital of the state, the nickname the state had received,and other things of that sort. The other students and I had already learned the process and where to write down each answer. And every Friday, the teacher would give us the same empty worksheet as a quiz for us to fill in what we had memorized. There was a specific time; I am not exactly sure what state we were having the quiz on that day, but I remember thinking that day during recess, “Whydo we have to memorize all these facts about states that aren’t even the ones we live in?” I remember thinking that all this information that was being forced into our head was completely useless. I went into class that day just like every other Friday but I was not as excited to be filling in all the blanks as I usually was.
Looking back, I now realize I had been a victim of a very strongexample of what the “banking” concept consists of. I was doing, just as Freire explains about the timetables, “The student records, memorizes, and repeats these phrases without perceiving what four times four really means” (244). In my case though, I had realized that what we were memorizing served no purpose other than to keep us busy. Learning about all those facts about the different American...
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