The Pedagogy Of The Oppressed

1242 Words5 Pages
Chapter 2 of the Pedagogy of the Oppressed” unfolds a lot like a reel of film: one idea, one observation, flowing seamlessly, one thought to the next, straightforward and natural in its progression. It begins in such a way that it appears to be simply another indictment of education, only if that is as far as you manage to read into it, then you are barely scratching the surface. Paulo Freire’s piece starts life as a rather straightforward critique of education and then quickly expands into a larger understanding of education’s role in the nature of oppression. To better understand the fundamental origin of oppression, Freire spotlights the ideological roots of education, and the way in which society approaches and chooses to educate. He places at the center of the argument two groups: teachers and students. He says, “Narration (with the teacher as narrator) leads the students to memorize mechanically the narrated account. Worse yet, it turns them into "containers," into "receptacles" to be "filled" by the teachers. The more completely she fills the receptacles, the better a teachers she is. The more meekly the receptacles permit themselves to be filled, the better students they are” (Freire1). He analogizes the concept even further, comparing the act of transferring knowledge from a student to a teacher to someone depositing something in a container. He argues that this banking concept of education, a term he uses repeatedly through the piece, essentially uses knowledge as a “gift bestowed by those who consider themselves knowledgeable upon those whom they consider to know nothing” (Freire1). He puts forth that it places teachers and students into two camps: the know-it-alls and the know-nothings. In addition, under the bank... ... middle of paper ... ...m those mistakes are those who would attempt to stand in the way of progress. He even has a word for them. Oppressors. Education, Freire maintains, is not simply another tool in our arsenal against Nature. Rather, he reinforces that education is the means with which we liberate ourselves from all the shameful things we do. It allows us to access, and to nurture, that which is best about us. When we are willing to do that, when we are willing to put more stock in our own potentiality, then we will be ready to change not only the way we learn and teach, but also how we engage with the world. However, that only happens if we face the accumulation of all our collective oppression, and dismantle it piece by piece. Once we have done that, the real learning can begin. Works Cited Freire, Paulo. “Paulo Freire: Chapter 2 of Pedagogy of the Opressed.” New York: 1993. Prin
Open Document