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Freire and Loewen Comparrisons

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“The Banking Concept of Education”

“The Banking Concept of Education,” from Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire. New York: Continuum, 1993. Translated by Myra Bergman Ramos [This is the citation information you will need to construct a Works Cited entry; for in-text citation, use Paulo Freire’s last name and the paragraph number (since this is a reprint and not the original, book-length source). Consult your Easy Writer for information about citing a book with a translator].

A careful analysis of the teacher-student relationship at any level, inside or outside the school, reveals its fundamentally narrative character. This relationship involves a narrating Subject (the teacher) and patient, listening objects (the students). The contents, whether values or empirical dimensions of reality, tend in the process of being narrated to become lifeless and petrified. Education is suffering from narration sickness.

The teacher talks about reality as if it were motionless, static, compartmentalized, and predictable. Or else he expounds on a topic completely alien to the existential experience of the students. His task is to "fill" the students with the contents of his narration—contents which are detached from reality, disconnected from the totality that engendered them and could give them significance. Words are emptied of their concreteness and become a hollow, alienated, and alienating verbosity.

The outstanding characteristic of this narrative education, then, is the sonority of words, not their transforming power. "Four times four is sixteen; the capital of Pará is Belim." The student records, memorizes, and repeats these phrases without perceiving what four times four really means, or realizing the true significance of "capital" in the affirmation "the capital of Pará is Belim," that is, what Belim means for Pará and what Pará means for Brazil.…...

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