Teachers who use the “banking” model—whether they are aware of it or not—do not understand that the model reinforces oppression. But Freire notes that some students may begin to understand that their education is in conflict with their natural drive for freedom. However, educators who truly want to help oppressed people cannot wait for this to happen—they should work with oppressed people, as fellow students, to achieve conscientização together.
“Banking” education hinders this process through its assumptions about human beings and the world. In the “banking” model, people do not act on the world: they merely live in it and observe it. Teachers, then, control how their students observe the world and teach them to fit in.
Many people (in this instance, students and teachers) don’t realize that they are oppressed, or an oppressor. This is the result of some oppressors working overtime to disguise the true nature of oppression. However, Freire believes in people’s ability to convert—to find out that they are contributing to an oppressive system, and then commit to changing it. Freire’s pedagogy attempts to make this conversion a key goal of education.
The methods teachers use in the “banking” model create distance between them and their students. In contrast, Freire argues for authentic communication in the classroom: teachers cannot impose their ideas on students, but should instead work with students equally. Just like oppression.