The Banking Concept of Education

A review of the essay, “The Banking Concept of Education”, by Paulo Freire.

This paper examines “The Banking Concept of Education”, an essay written by Paulo Freire, which explains how education is really a tool that is used continuously to oppress the poor. It explores how the banking concept of education is the idea that the teacher teaches, and the student learns from that teacher by utilizing the basic drills, memorization, and repetition. It also looks at how an adult can have the thinking process greatly enhanced by learning the basics, such as the alphabet, reading, eventually, and then writing, not necessarily in that order, and how, once those basics are learned, then the adult can use the combinations of those skills to perform more complex cognitive processes.
“The overall idea of the banking concept is that when a person like you or I are researching a topic in the library for example, the reason we can achieve this feat is because of the basics of education we have already been taught. For example, if we were to study China, we would need some understanding of reading, writing, geography, etc. The banking concept has worked well presenting those basics, at least for the affluent nations of the world. However, we may have chosen a different path had we not been taught those basics. If a homeless child in the ghettos of Rio needs to learn something, he will not be as prepared to utilize banking concepts because his immediate needs are different. Maslow has pointed out; I may be looking for food or shelter, not an alphabet in the homeless scenario.”