The “banking” model is “necrophilic” and stifles the life of human beings. But the suffering that results from oppression can spur people to restore their personal freedom and power. Freire calls out the “banking” model as oppressive so that revolutionary leaders do not use it in the struggle for liberation. He notes that revolutionary leaders often use this model already, but urges them to “reject the banking concept in its entirety” and replace it with a new model: the “problem-posing” model.
Freire argues that oppressive structures and institutions can never create real, lasting freedom for oppressed people. By uplifting the knowledge and life experiences of oppressed people, revolutionaries can push oppressed people to develop their own ideas for structures and institutions that work for everyone. And as South America was overcome with regime changes during the 1960s, Freire is wary of “revolutions” that simply replace the people in power while maintaining an oppressive hierarchy.
In stark contrast to “banking,” a “problem-posing” pedagogy is based on communication and dialogue, and it fosters human freedom. It transforms the relationship between students and teachers, merging them into teacher-students and student-teachers.
Everyone in the classroom teaches each other and learns from each other. While the “banking” model consists of active teachers and passive students, the “problem-posing” model makes both groups into “co-investigators” who question reality together. Freire argues that the “problem-posing” model pushes students to gain critical awareness, because it uses topics and problems that are relevant to the students’ experiences. This, in turn, challenges students to take action and face those problems.