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Running head: Modern Education

The Debate of Modernized Education


Alicia Holmes
Park University EN106
Instructor: S. Vargas-Ortiz
08 Nov 2015

Modern Education

The Debate of Modernized Education


The transition from traditional to a more modern form of education has been a long
drawn out process. Since as early as 1970, educators such as Paulo Freire and Mark Edmundson
have voiced their concerns on the current state of collegiate education with hopes to enforce
change. While change may not always be considered a negative thing, the problem is not change
itself. Yet the issue lies in the diagnostic of exactly what should be changed for the most good for
most people. While Paulo Freire believed the issue to be a lack in communication and an overprocessing of deposit-like transactions, Mark Edmundson felt otherwise. Edmundson strongly
encouraged a sense of genius and anti-uniformity within a buyers-market filled with students as
the consumers. Although both of these educators bring up very valid points encouraging a better
education system, they both have failed to realize that the incorporation of both concepts is very
much needed in that different students require different learning styles in every day education. In
other words, one system cannot and will not work without the other.
Traditional education has been considered by many to be based on a concept of banking.
Paulo Freire goes further and refers to it as a banking concept in which the scope of action
allowed to the students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits" (Freire,
para. 5). Though one may find it easy to take this as having a negative connotation associated
with, it can in fact be opposite. There are times when information has to be spoken to a class or
audience for the sake of a syllabus, but not necessarily taught so that the student is able to relive

Modern Education

the information for any given moment. It is this banking concept I feel is needed more often that
we think in education. As a student and educator, we have to be able to recognize when we need
to simply weed out that information that is pertinent and as for the excess, receive, file, and
store (Freire, para. 5). As a pupil being educated, we are not always capable of reading, writing,
and recalling information in its entirety. As modern education persists, we are being taught to
take what we find to be relevant and simply store the rest for future reference. This banking
method is referred to by Edmundson as The Socratic method- the animated, give-and-take
between students and teacher (Edmundson, para. 35). The teacher feeds the information
necessary and the student mentally intakes as they wish and thus perceive what they wish to be
perceived. Edmundson also gives his take on why this is a crucial part in the education process,
reminding us that one of the best things about democratic thinking is the conviction that genius
can spring up anywhere (Edmundson, para. 54). Some decide to highlight. Others decide to use
pen and paper. And still there are those who simply follow along with a memory a bit above the
average student. Despite the method, there still requires a need for an educator to educate in a
manner that allows each versatile student to receive and take note in the form or fashion they
desire.
Modern education, moreover, requires more than a narrating of this so called banking
concept (Freire, para.5). After the students have dissected, analyzed, and stored, then comes
authentication. Freire reminds us The teachers thinking is authenticated only by the
authenticity of the students thinking. The teacher cannot think for his students, nor can he
impose his thought on them" (Freire, para. 12). True authentication would not be complete
without communication and social interaction. We know that that in the typical classroom
setting, knowledge is a gift bestowed by those who consider themselves knowledgeable

Modern Education

upon those whom they consider to know nothing (Freire, para. 6). Often times educators use
means such as off-the-wall questions and side bar jokes meant as lead-ins to stronger stuff
(Edmundson, para. 5). Though parts of education may often seem long and dry to the average
collegiate student, even those parts have to be brought down to Earth in a way that becomes
interesting , knowledgeable, and humorous (Edmundson, para. 4). With a plethora of learning
styles in any given audience, we find interest, knowledge, and humor to be most attractive to the
majority. While traditionalists are often not as concerned with this portion of learning, it is the
modern educationalists that are associated with relaxed and tolerant ways (Edmundson, para.
3) and the belief that their function is to divert, entertain, and interest (Edmundson, para. 4). To
grasp any large portion of an audience on a college campus, this is vital. Majority rules. What the
majority wants is to be entertained in a relaxed environment that promotes and includes
education. This, after all, is what they pay for.
What comes next, one may ask. Application. This is what the student takes when leaving
the classroom and left to fend for themselves. As an educator, Edmundson desired some of them
to say that they have been changed by the course. I want them to measure themselves against
what theyve read (Edmundson, para. 6). As the semester comes to an end, it is not what you
have taught as an educator that ultimately matters. Yet, it is that which the students have fully
grasped and can apply at a moments notice. Freire quickly learned that as an educator,
Education must begin with the solution of the teacher-student contradiction, by reconciling the
poles of the contradiction so that both are simultaneously teachers and students (Freire, para. 7).
What is instilled in the audience must go beyond and allow the audience the ability to instill into
someone else. We as students are only students while in the classroom under ones instruction. It
is when we leave the instructors presence that we then become the instructor ourselves.

Modern Education

Though modern education has taken precedence over that of traditionalism, it cannot stop
there. As new seats fill up with each semester, we as students and ultimately educators, have to
continuously be mindful of the necessities of anyone temporarily labeled a student. No one
student is like the other and we have to strive to reach them all efficiently and effectively. What
works for one student may not necessarily be tactful to another. It is the job of the educator to
incorporate all the necessary learning styles to attract that majority. Banking and deposits,
authentication through communication and social interaction, and application are all vital. One
method will not prevail without the others. In modern education, majority will always rule.

Modern Education

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References

Edmundson, M. (1997). On the uses of a liberal education. Harpers Magazine, 295, 39-49.
Freire, P. (1970). The banking concept of education. 2004 Educational foundations: An
anthology of critical readings, 99-111.