Freire recognises that the practices he suggests can encounter “limiting situations” that block them, and that these situations are the product of resistance on the part of the oppressing classes to any change in the status they so closely protect. He describes some of the different methods, including ideologies, that the oppressors use to maintain their own status and the status quo, and if possible to oppress people even further, since these are a “law of life” that we can not evade.pedagogy of the Oppressed website. Image credit: 21st Century Teachers Should… blog Translated from La Iniciativa de Comunicación. Click here for the Spanish version.
Freire begins Chapter 2 by describing the characteristics of a traditional Western classroom. He focuses on its “narrative” aspects: the teacher is a “narrating Subject” with students who are passive. The teacher’s narration—or the facts that he/she is teaching—is disconnected from the students’ life experiences, and students memorize these facts without understanding their full meaning or context.
Freire calls this the “banking” model of education, one in which teachers “deposit” knowledge into the minds of their students. He finds this model problematic because it stifles creativity, and does not encourage students to ask new questions through praxis.
Freire uses the term “narration” to call attention to the one-sided nature of traditional teaching. In the banking model, students rely on the teacher to tell them which ideas, facts, and perspectives are correct, useful, or relevant to their lives. Freire’s critique of these classrooms—where students memorize and regurgitate facts—can still be seen today in political debates about school curriculums and standardized testing.