My Freshman Year Classical Physics Course Essays

My Freshman Year Classical Physics Course Essays

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When students think about an educational experience, they usually recall whether or not they actually learned anything, and those who answer yes and want to probe a little deeper will think about how they learned. Did they learn by memorization or application? Did the class leave room for input from the students? Was everything subject to the teacher’s own opinions? These are all important questions we should ask of any learning experience. Fortunately, I am able to answer all of them positively in reference to my Freshman year Classical Physics course. The class is what I believe Freire would call “‘Problem Posing’ education” as opposed to a “banking” education (221). This is because of (among other important components) the advanced level of teacher-student communication the professor used to create an impressive learning environment.
Every class period started with the professor writing down the day’s topics in both corners of the chalk board for everyone to see. He then proceeded to explain any particularly difficult homework problems that the majority of the students had struggled with. After the brief explanation, he would lecture on the topics in the order he had written on the board. At this point, one might think that the class sounds more like banking than Problem Posing because, as Freire says, a banking education’s teachers “know everything and the students know nothing”, but more detail proves that the students were not simply required “to memorize mechanically the narrated content”, they were encouraged to discuss it and think deeply of their own accord about the subject matter (217, 216). During the lectures, students were allowed to ask questions at any point, and the professor respected the student’s opinions an...


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...Calculus class fits into Freire’s educational philosophy of banking because regurgitation was prioritized over communication. Freire states that “banking education begins with a false understanding of men and women as objects” as opposed to subjects (220). If the teacher saw the students as subjects, their input to the class would have been valued and respected. Instead, they were considered objects “to be ‘filled’ by the teacher” (216). My criticism of the teacher may be a bit harsh, but no other experience I have had is as close to how Freire defines banking education, and this is largely due to the communication errors described.
Hopefully, this injected narrative of the Calculus class sheds light on what communication means for Problem-Posing education and the impact it has on students and teachers alike. Without that communication, real learning does not occur.

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