What Does it Mean to be Educated, and Who Decides? Entering a Conversation about Education

Paula Friere and Mark Edmondson try to explain the concept of education in two different perspectives. According to the concept of banking, Friere brings out education as the mere act of depositing. In this regard, education involves the teacher depositing knowledge to the students while the students’ role is restricted to just absorbing, storing it and memorising whenever required to do so. According to his ideology, education is all about having the two extreme parties who at one end are ignorant while the other end is perceived as absolutely knowledgeable. The ignorant group is always presenting itself to the most knowledgeable group for the main aim of gaining something from them. This then justifies the existence of the so-called teachers who are perceived as the most knowledgeable and the students who in this case are considered less knowledgeable. This, in the long run, brings about the element of oppression as the teachers take control of everything and the students only remain at the receiving end. They must follow the instruction to the latter without questioning. In our school system today, this is the exact reflection of what Friere explains in his concept. Teacher or lecturers have always taken control of everything and students only present themselves to them for the main reason of acquiring the information nothing more than that. After receiving the information, the students must be ready to remember and produce the information in a form of answering the questions in the exams. It is even surprising that the students only acquire the information for the main purpose of passing an examination.

On the other hand, Mark Edmundson education lies in determining the best teacher in whichever the institution one joins. According to him, the best teacher is the only one that has the key to the transformation of any student as he/she goes through the education system.  He insists that the current education does not give the students a chance to redefine whom they are rather focusing much on delivery. He calls it the consumer mentality type of education. Institutions are in the rush of providing the massive experience by looking for the best teachers and tutors while the parents and students run into various institutions in the belief that they will gain the best from them. In today’s world, Edmundson ideology is quite evident. We have witnessed many colleges and schools rushing for the best experience and the best teachers in the world. With this they believe, will act as bait to get many students who only run to such institutions with the hope that they will get the best out of them. They do not take the time to sit down and ask themselves about what they want and what they want they want to be. No wonder it was termed as a consumer mentality type of education where both parties are just in the rush to gain.

From the two ideologies, it is then important to note that they are similar in a way as both of them insist on imparting knowledge. The knowledge from the two ideologies is given by the so-called teachers who deposit and the role of the students are to memorise and produce it at any given time. It is, therefore, easy to note that both perspectives put teachers at the centre stage of education. Teachers are the ones considered to play a critical role in the education system than any other person in the system. Students only come into play by making sure that gain from the knowledge given by teachers to them. In that case, we can conclude that the monopoly of education has been overtaken by teachers who are now seen as the controllers of the whole concept of education and their say is final. They are also the determiners of the students’ fate as according to Friere; they have the whole impact of filling the heads of the most ignorant group, thus the students. Edmundson, on the other hand, comes up with the same idea but his, in this case, emphasizes the need to get the best teachers to mould best students. All the ideas give the teachers a very key role in determining the future lives of their students.

The two ideologies differ in a way. While Friere only focuses on the banking aspect of teachers where they are only employed in the institutions to give and deposit knowledge into the heads of the students, Edmundson emphasizes the need to acquire the best teachers. From him, the best teachers are the only ones who have the best impact on the lives of the students. Without the best teachers, the lives of the students are at stake. Therefore, it can be inferred that Edmundson puts his focus on the quality of education, unlike Friere, whose main assertions only handles the depositing of knowledge and the oppressive nature of the teachers. Quality is critical if we have to bring up the best personality through education.