Freire’s second chapter.
I started reading Freire’s second chapter.
He speaks of “banking education”, where there is of deposit and reception of contents, which does not bring any form of creativity, transformation and change.
I saw my nephew’s transaction from good boy to good student. I wonder if he has the right to be a bad student and a good child or all possible combinations of creativity, transformation, and change in himself and his environment. At what age is a child allowed to say: this just doesn’t fit my vision of my future.
I remember that school had not particularly impressed me: life was more interesting for me. But only until the third grade (9-10 years old). After a bad grade (it seems to be a 4 on a scale of 10, marked with the red pen on the paper) I realized that something was wrong, that I had to account in the morning for what I was doing for the rest of my day.
I remember waiting for my mother to bring the food to the dog that was in the garden to show her my paper. I was curious to understand what that grade was for her, and how I had to interpret it. My mother, from her base of peripheral interest in the world of school, gave me a vague and neutral answer. But I remember my emotional state: for my mother this vote is neutral; for the school no, it looks to be of vital importance. So, my choice was between my mother (I need you to be a good girl and you go to the school) and the school vision (red notes for missing the restitution of the content). So it was my responsibility to choose one system value: I decide to stick to the school vision system because I need to go there in the morning.
At that moment I became a student. I never bored again my mother with my notes. All were “green” just to let me continue to attend all my morning lessons.
“The educator who projects ignorance camps on its fixed, invariable positions. He/She will always be the one or the one who knows, while the students will remain those and those who don’t know. This rigidity denies education
and knowledge as a research process” (p. 68 French edition).
I have never questioned my right to my opinion in the school system. No one has ever asked me for my opinion. Even today I find it difficult to legitimize the expression of my opinion. I think it is a retraction of passivity that becomes a bodily, mental, and existential habitus. A passivity to be shaken off. As Freire says, we must act in the fullness of our actions and not wait to become one after the fight. The game is in our hands.
The question of authority challenges me a lot today as an educator: how much space should I give to students; how they realize their right to information and access to information; how to be transformative in my action toward them without imposing my values and my vision. The main questions are: how much are they and I aware of what is happening now in the classroom? How free and conscious are we during our teaching and learning activities?
“raison d’être de l’éducation libératrice se situe dans son élan initial de conciliation. C’est pourquoi ce type d’éducation implique le dépassement de la contradiction éducateur·rice/élèves afin qu’iels deviennent tous et toutes, simultanément, éducateur·rices et élèves (…) Un savoir qui n’est plus fait d’«expérience vécue», mais d’expérience narrée ou transmise. (…). Plus on leur impose la passivité, plus ils et elles ont tendance à s’adapter naïvement au monde, à la réalité partielle inculquée par les dépôts reçus, au lieu de la transformer.” (p. 71).