Dewey vs. Freire

Dewey Vs - Dewey vs. Freire introduction. Freire Although they are from different times and places both John Dewey and Paolo Freire have very similar theories on education. These men believed that there is more to teaching than simply lecturing to students while the students take notes to later memorize. Freire refers to this as the “banking concept” and Dewey categorizes it under a “traditional education. ” Both men expressed that in order for students to fully grasp what they were being taught, teachers would have to find a better way to engage them.

Dewey’s theory is known as “Progressive Education” and Freire’s is called “Problem-Posing Education. ” It was Dewey’s belief that a “traditional education” is not the best method of teaching because it is based on textbooks, lectures, and imposing knowledge on the young. Most times, young learners will memorize what they are being told without ever really understanding the material. This is why he came up with the idea of “progressive education. ” Progressive learning is based on experience.

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Therefore, it is more hands on leading students to have a much better chance of learning through trial and error. In this way students are able to take their education into their own hands. This is not too different from Freire’s problem-posing technique. Freire’s “banking concept” got its name from the fact that teachers simply “make deposits” by lecturing or assigning textbook work from a set curriculum. This method of teaching does not leave room for dialogue between teacher and students and also minimizes creativity because it does not allow students to think and come up with their own answers.

This type of education is not beneficial for students because it is quickly forgotten and the student does not learn anything. Freire’s solution to this is “problem-posing. ” The concept of problem-posing encourages critical thinking and mutual dialogue between students and teacher. In this way, students are more engaged and learn how to synthesize information on their own. Freire also stated that the relationship between student and teacher should be give and take. Meaning that they should both learn from each other.

Once one is able to fully understand what John Dewey and John Freire are saying in their works (Experience and Education by Dewey and Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Freire) it is easy to see the connection between the two. Banking is a method one would see used in a traditional education whereas problem-posing is something one would utilize in a progressive education. Someone in a traditional setting would most likely feel oppressed while someone in a progressive setting would probably feel more liberated. Education systems like passive students who sit back and learn exactly what the teachers design.

To have a strong-willed student can be a teacher’s nightmare. But having a strong will is not a flaw if encouraged in the right direction. A strong-willed person is the only person, who can fight their way out from under the thumb of oppression. The strong-willed too often have their spirits crushed into submission when really they need to be taught how to use their passions but this all too often is overlooked in the educational system. It is about finding a voice and speaking out for reform against oppression. This is the point both Dewey and Freire were trying to convey.

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