What Is the “banking” Concept of Education?
The “banking” concept of education is a method of teaching and learning where the students simply store the information relayed to them by the teacher. It was described by Brazilian educationalist Paolo Freire.
In a “banking” type of environment, a classroom is structured such that the primary duty of students is to remember and accurately recall the information provided by the instructor. They are not asked to participate in any other way, and simply absorb the information. In this type of approach, the world is seen as static and unchangeable, and students are simply supposed to fit into it as it is, as noted by Freire.
This concept is in contrast to the “problem solving” concept of education, in which students engage in dialogue about the subject matter with the teacher and also with one another. The world is seen as a work in progress, and students are encouraged to think about ways to change it.
Freire elaborated on both concepts in his famous work “Pedagogy of the Oppressed.” He describes the banking concept as oppressive, with no room for independent thinking. However, some educational professionals believe that the banking concept is appropriate for certain subjects, such as math and languages, and certain lower grade levels where basic skills and concepts are taught.