Education as a Practice of Liberation
Paulo Freire is the ideologue who formulated and offered his vision and approach to modern education. In the essay, "The Concept of Banking Education”, Freire states that in the modern education system mechanical approach dominates, so he offers his own problem-posing educational method, which allows studying freely. Those, who truly seek after the liberation, should completely reject the "banking" concept of education, and instead embrace the concept of humans as thinking beings and consciousness, which is oriented to the world. This definition of Freire’s approach is "explicit". Such people should stop to consider the purpose of education "deposits placement information", but instead to offer to understand the problems of people and their relationship with society.
Education, matching the essence of knowledge, that is, awareness, denying reports and actualizes communication. Education embodies a particular characteristic of consciousness, that is, to understand, to realize not only by dipping into an object, but also by internal reflection, using consciousness.
It is possible to consider the problem-posing approach of education on the example of the protagonist of the film Dead Poets Society, teacher Keating. In his essay, Freire describes two methods of teaching that are banking education and problem-posing education, and the hero of the film Dead Poets Society, the teacher Keating, can be considered an example of problem-poser teacher in accordance with Freyre.
Liberating or problem-posing education consists of acts of cognition, not of transfer of information. Such learning situation, in which a cognizable object (that is far from being the last one in the act of cognition), mediates the process of knowledge between its doers: the students, on the one hand, and a teacher, on the other. Accordingly, the concept of problem-posing education primarily requires resolving contradictions between teacher and student. Relationships should be built in the form of a dialogue, which is necessary for the implementation of the capacity of cognizing people to interact in the process of understanding the general object of knowledge, and it is impossible otherwise. Exactly in this way the teacher Keating in the film Dead Poets Society approaches to teaching, using a constant dialogue with the students.
In fact, Keating's approach coincides with Freire’s concept of problem-posing education. Such an approach, breaking the vertical connections of banking education, will serve as the practice of freedom only if it manages to overcome the above-mentioned problem (McLaren, 50). Through dialogue, vertical linkages of teacher’s domination over a student and a student over a teacher stop to exist, but there are new horizontal communications between teacher and student, and vice versa.
The teacher ceases to be the only one who teaches, and becomes one of those, who learns in the process of dialogue with the students, and those, in turn, also teach, learning at the same time. Freire says that narrative learning, that is, learning with a teacher - the narrator leads to the fact that the students memorize mechanically narrated (Freire and Ramos, 163). Thus, education is transformed into an act of placing information on deposits, during which students are storage, and teachers play the role of investors.
Instead of communicating, the teacher gives out a message, making a contribution to the bank, which the pupil learns and plays. In this bank, which limits the concept of education, students can only receive and store deposits. Banking teacher forces students to memorize mechanically the information, using the method of banking education.
Analyzing the film Dead Poets Society, we can conclude that it is clearly seen the concept of education. The film's protagonist, the new teacher, John Keating is teaching methods that are radically different from traditionally used in this college for the past many decades. John Keating is a teacher of English literature at the conservative American college. From the prim mass of teachers, he is distinguished by his ease of communication, erratic behavior and disregard for the educational program.
The new teacher starts teaching a fiery lecture about their inevitable death, explaining that life is fleeting, so they have to follow the principle of «Carpe diem». He does not require as the rest teachers do, and he gives (Schulman). Keating says “seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.” (Schulman) Giving knowledge, a new vision of the world is already familiar, it makes the self-realization and the development of students’ talents possible. Analyzing these examples, it becomes obvious that Mr. Keating rejects banking method" of education and uses elements of Freire’s concept in his work.
For young men, Mr. Keating becomes, thus, Captain who tries to send their ships on the right course (Schulman). Paulo Freire spoke of the "banking method" of education in which the student is most subject in which is embedded knowledge of as money in the treasury that then get all that is needed, than the subject in the process of acquiring knowledge, which itself determines what it needs for life. Personality is evaporated completely as a hieroglyph in the sand when the wind blows.
The system continuously enforces the view that the cause of our troubles is a separate individual, and not the social structure as a whole. Thus, as the story of the movie progresses, we see the fruits of what the teacher brought this devotion. Because bullies who have nothing to do not need, for whom everything is decided by the parents, the boys become real men, they try to choose that which is true, learn to think, to reason, to learn through trial and error, without which it is impossible to know the real life.
The film shows how society is bogged down in stereotypes, it is difficult to appear for a new form of learning, new kind of the relationship between teacher and student. It also shows clearly that, despite the many obstacles the adoption of such a form of education, problem-posing learning is really the best approach, unlike the banking education, which does not allow teachers and students to develop fully and to use their minds well. In the film, the teacher Keating, struggling against the old methods of education, is not a savior of the students, but he gives them the opportunity to help themselves and thus be free from the stereotypes that prevent them from developing freely. He becomes a source of fresh ideas for students, giving them the opportunity to review all the basics of education. According to Keating, the affective teacher is an active accomplice of the internal potential of his or her student growth and learning, he states “I stand upon my desk to remind yourself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.” (Schulman) He was a rebel in the field of education that the college had not yet seen.
For the standard education system, which Freire called banking, Keating’s approach is wrong and unacceptable. Students were confused and shocked initially, but they gradually begin to support a new method of teaching and teachers are inspired speeches. For them, it was only the beginning. He teaches them to perceive the world critically, as in the Freire’s concept, to analyze everything that happens around and not to be overwhelmed by the system of education (Glass, 16). Keating's methods and the concept of critical thinking and intellectual freedom are very bold, it is an open challenge to the educational system and to the Director, opposing innovative methods of Keating like many teachers still reject the new teaching methods of problem-posing education (Schulman).
With the approach of problem-posing education that the teacher Keating promotes and Freire offers, students and teachers get the overall responsibility for the process, in which all of them grow and develop. In this process, arguments based on power are no longer valid. That is why, in order to function, the power should be for the freedom, and not against it. Here no one else teaches another and no one learns by himself. People teach each other, mediating by the world and the objects of knowledge, the very same that if "banking" approach to education is assigned by a teacher.
"Banking" concept with its intention to divide everything into pieces distinguishes two phases in the teacher's actions. The first time when he or she prepares for the lectures in his or her office or the lab, a teacher studies the object of knowledge. During the second time, a teacher gives the students information about the object. Students are offered not understand the subject, and remember the content, to tell the teacher.
Thus, in the wrong “banking” system of education, there is no creativity, no opportunities for transformation, no real knowledge, because apart from the knowledge and practice in isolation, people cannot really develop. On the other hand, the problem-posing educator inspires students to think for themselves and to be committed to the liberation from stereotypes of society (McLaren, 51). Keating is a great example of a teacher, who uses the problem-posing approach of education. This is a problem-posing education, which gives a chance to develop intelligence. Freire and Keating from the movie Dead Poets Society suggest that knowledge comes only as a result of more and more new discoveries, which people seek, exploring the world tirelessly, eagerly, inspired hope, is inseparable from the world and from others of their kind.
McLaren, Peter. A Pedagogy of Possibility: Reflecting upon Paulo Freire's Politics of Education: In Memory of Paulo Freire. Educational Researcher, Vol. 28, No. 2. JSTOR.1999. Web. 8 July 2016.
Freire, Paolo and Ramos, Myra Bergman. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts, Vol. 2, No. 2, Race and Secondary Education: Content, Contexts, Impacts, pp. 163-174. JSTOR. 2009. Web. 8 July 2016.
Glass, Ronald David. On Paulo Freire's Philosophy of Praxis and the Foundations of Liberation Education. Educational Researcher, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 15-25. JSTOR. 2001. Web. 8 July 2016.
Schulman, Tom. Dead Poets Society: Final Script. Web. 8 July 2016.