The Banking Concept of Education by Paulo Freire

I. What do you think is the essential action of the essay and what the essay is trying to argue?

Paulo Freire raises concern of how the relationship between a student and his/her teacher effects the students learning progression in his essay “The Banking Concept of Education.” Freire believes that in schools the students aren’t allowed to voice their opinion or express their ideas because of Freire’s general idea of how students only go to school to listen and receive the information given to them by the all-knowledgeable teachers. He speaks about the teacher’s authority that is seen and aware to both the teacher and the students and questions how can this relationship of the teachers feeding the students with information they don’t dare to challenge, which ultimately causes a lack in creativity, can be broken, to help better the students education.

Turning Point:

In paragraph 29, Freire shifts his essay from talking about his “banking concept education” (the problem) and how it hinders the students education, free expression, and creativity to talking his concept of “problem- posing education” (the solution). Freire points out that the only solution to breaking this “banking concept education” is for the student and the teacher to work and reflect on the world and ideas simultaneously, which is also known as the “problem-posing education.”


When I was reading this essay I broke it down into two big sections but gave importance to each paragraph. The first section is called The Problem: Banking Concept Education and the second section is called The Solution: Problem-posing Education.




The Problem: Banking Concept Education

Paragraph 1: This paragraph briefly states Freire’s argument of how he thinks education is almost “lifeless” because the students are only receiving information from the teachers, memorizing it, and regurgitating it back to them without fully understanding or challenging the information presented. This paragraph ultimately become the main focus of the essay.

Paragraph 2: This paragraph briefly explains how the teachers job is to “fill” the students mind with material they learned to teach.

Paragraph 3: This paragraph talks about the students take the information the teacher teaches them, memorizes it, and then repeats it without understanding the “true significance” of the information.

Paragraph 4: Freire talks about how the students become just “containers” and “receptacles” to be filled with the “narration” of the teacher.

Paragraph 5: This paragraph introduces the “banking concept education” and how the students become “depositories” to be filled with “narration” and information from the depositors; also known as the teachers. This paragraph also highlights how the “banking concept education” causes students to lack in creativity.

Paragraph 6: This paragraph talks about the gift of knowledge and how both the teachers and students are both aware and accepting of the fact that only the teachers are knowledgeable and the students are “ignorant.”

Paragraph 7: This paragraph briefly explains that education can only be found when a teacher-student relationship is contradicting because then the student and the teacher can work simultaneously as teachers and students.

Paragraph 8: This paragraph lists the types of attitudes found in the “banking concept” and states that the solution talked about in paragraph 7 cannot be found in the “banking concept.”

Paragraph 9: Freire talks about how students “work at storing the deposits” that are given to them by the teachers. He states that this constant storing habit doesn’t allow room for creativity, critical thinking, or free expression. Instead this storing habit causes students to take a more passive approach when it comes to education.

Paragraph 10: This paragraph talks about how teachers seek to not have students to increase their “creative power” because it means more work for them and less of an authority position due to the constant lessons or ideas they learn from students.

Paragraph 11: This paragraph briefly explains how students are the oppressed and are taught to stay in the margins, that was their “incompetent and lazy” minds can be dominated more by the teachers (oppressors).

Paragraph 12: This paragraph talks about how the oppressed are not “marginals” and how they need to transform the structure of oppression to become “being for themselves.”

Paragraph 13: This paragraph explains how the banking concept will never suggest students to think critically about reality.

Paragraph14: Freire talks about how the banking concept adds deposits into the student’s mind which contradict reality and later cause the passive student to “turn against their domestication and the attempt to domesticate reality.”

Paragraph 15: This paragraph briefly states that the teachers need to be partners with students for students to gain the ability to critical think and use creative power.

Paragraph 16: This paragraph states that the banking concept does not have “such partnership” stated in paragraph 15 because it will “undermine the power” of the teacher and allow liberation to rise.

Paragraph 17: This paragraph talks about the relationship between “human beings and the world” and how an “empty “mind”” passively deposits reality from the outside world.

Paragraph 18: Freire speaks about how education should make people more passive and have them adapt to the world. He also mentions how the more educated an individual is the better “fit” they are for the world.

Paragraph 19: This paragraph talks about “the methods for evaluating “knowledge”.”

Paragraph 20: This paragraph talks about the relationship between “the bank-clerk educator” and solidarity. It also mentions how solidarity requires communication.

Paragraph 21: This paragraph states that life has meaning through communication. It mentions how a teacher can’t think for his/her students and how authentic thinking can be found in communication.

Paragraph 22: This brief paragraph talks about banking education starts “with a false understanding of men and women as object” and is found to produce “necrophily.”

Paragraph 23: This paragraph talks about the personality traits of a necrophilic and their ability to relate certain objects to one another.

Paragraph 24: This paragraph talks about how oppression and the banking concept of education is necrophilic.

Paragraph 25: In this paragraph Freire talks about peoples sufferings when “their efforts to act responsibly are frustrated.”

Paragraph 26: This paragraph speaks about how populist manifestations is the best example to show the behaviors of the oppressed.

Paragraph 27: Freire talks about how the banking concept of education cannot be used to pursue liberation.

Paragraph 28: This paragraph talks about liberation and how it is “the process of humanization.”

The Solution: Problem-posing Education

Paragraph 29: This paragraph is the turning point of the essay because it shifts from talking about the problem to the solution of the problem, which is acheiving liberation by rejecting the banking concept and “adopting” a new concept; aka Problem-posing Education.

Paragraph 30: In this paragraph it talks about the acts of cognition through liberation education and how the problem-posing education is based on teacher-student contradictions being resolved. Another aspect mentioned is the dialogical relations.

Paragraph 31: This paragraph talks about how the problem-prosing education works. It is the process where the teacher and student work together to a point where each person is both the teacher and the student at the same time.

Paragraph 32: This paragraph talks about how the banking concept “distinguishes two stages in the action of the educator.” For example, the teacher want the student to memorize and not know.

Paragraph 33: This paragraph talks about the differences of the banking concept of education and the problem-prosing education. For example, this paragraph states that the problem-posing method is always “cognitive.”

Paragraph 34: This paragraph explains how the students who are prosed with problems are constantly challenged mentally, forcing them to critically think and be more creative, which often leads them to new challenges.

Paragraph 35: Freire talks of education “as the practice of freedom” and briefly explains authentic reflection.

Paragraphs 36-37: In these paragraphs Freire gives an example/story-line of how a an ignorant student whose habits lies in the banking concept challenged a class discussion.

Paragraph 38: This paragraph talks about men and women “reflecting on themselves and the world”, which later gives them a new perception of ideas.

Paragraph 39: This paragraph talks about how men and women start to “single out elements from their “background awareness”.”

Paragraph 40: This paragraph speaks about the power of problem-posing education to critically think and become more creative.

Paragraph 41: This paragraph deeply compares the differences of banking education and problem-prosing education.

Paragraph 42:  Freire talks about how problem-posing education makes men and women into unfinished and uncompleted beings.

Paragraph 43: This paragraph briefly talks about how education is” constantly remade in the praxis.”

Paragraph 44: This paragraph explains how problem-posing education is “revolutionary futurity.”

Paragraph 45: This paragraph talks about thinking and living apart from the world and reality and challenging oneself to be more.

Paragraph 46: Freire talks about the differences between banking concept and problem-posing when it comes to certain situations and reality.

Paragraph 47: This paragraph describes the consciousness and transformation of a person who goes by the problem-posing education.

Paragraph 48: This paragraph talks about the humanization and dehumanization that both the banking concept and the problem-posing has set on the people in society.

Paragraph 49:This paragraph talks about how the student and the teacher become subjects of “overcoming authoritarianism and an alienating intellectualism” by using the problem-posing education.

Paragraph 50: This is the finally paragraph and it sums up the essay as a whole by stating that problem-posing education is not in the favor of the oppressor but it is revolutionary.


In conclusion I found the article to be very eye opening because of the ideas and concepts Freire presented. I never thought as students as people who just go to school to be “filled” by teachers. In my opinion it makes sense because looking back on my learning experience in high school I couldn’t tell you anything about what I learned in a little more than half of the classes I took. I feel as though I only memorized the information teachers gave to me to pass their class without fully understanding why the information was important and the reason why we were learning it. I think Freire problem-posing education concept is a great way for students to learn and challenge themselves to think beyond. The problem-posing education concept does not only help the student get a better understanding and express new idea but it also allows teachers to learn from students and expand their ideas from student ideas. In all the essay is very inspirational to challenge students to not be the passive depositories.


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