What Is The Banking Method Of Education?

The banking method of education was a form of explaining and criticizing the usual techniques of education that the schools employ in our society in general. The term was first used by Brazilian educator Paulo Freire in his book ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed.’ Here he explains that most teachers consider students to be an empty account that needs to be filled up with knowledge, as if they are depositing something like they do in bank.

This approach shows that the students are merely passive participants in the education process and the teachers are the active agents who do the teaching without any contribution from the students. Freire was against this ‘banking’ method of teaching and criticized it on the following grounds:

  • Back in those days, teaching was a strict process where students were just expected to listen to everything that the teacher said. Freire opposed this because it did not encourage the students to question and discourage free thinking
  • This approach also make students passive and they cannot participate in the exchange, which leads to boredom and a lack of interest in the subjects
  • The teacher insists only on memorization and repetition and the student’s job is to receive this knowledge from the teacher and store it in their heads. This is not communication in the real sense
  • He believes in the pre-existing knowledge in students, that they have their own thoughts, questions and issues about a subject which the banking method ignores. They are instead seen as adaptable and manageable beings with no thoughts of their own which is not healthy
  • This approach adopts the transmission model of education where there is only a transmission of thoughts from the teacher to the student and the teacher is the center of this exchange, while the students are passive absorbers of the information which they memorize and store

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