Last Updated 20 Apr 2022

Education in Evolution: from Freire’s Bank Clerk to Problem Poser

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Our portrait as students is an evolution of experiences of continuous life’s challenges and disasters. In our childhood, we consider our parents the first teachers. In the process of growing and maturing, we join the educational world going to school at the same time that we are introduced to the school of life. As scholars, we have experienced Freire’s two educational methods – bank-clerk and problem-posing.

It is true that the educator would decide what method to employ, however, at the end, most of us, including the students depicted in ancient and modern literature, would choose to be critical thinkers and exhibit Freire’s “Emerging Consciousness”, opening the door to creativity, critical and a revolutionary learning process. Usually, the beginning of our education starts at home; our parents are the first ones who teach us how to behave with manners and cultural customs. The education that we received at home can be different for everybody and the reason is different cultures, languages, and religion.

The way our parents and families teach us can be defined as coalition of bank clerk and problem posing methods, the parents are the teachers and we are the students, sometimes the parents use the “banking” concept, they talk and give commands and the students just listen and accept the commands. As Freire declares Education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiques and makes deposits which students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat.

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This is the “banking” concept of education, in which the scope of action allowed to the students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits (Freire 72). Freire tells us that using “banking” education, the parents become narrators and the children just containers to be filled with the parents’ knowledge. Pedagogy of the Oppressed emphasizes that communication between parents and children, doesn’t exist in a “banking” education. “Banking” education means suppression and by suppression, children are limited to extend their learning process by being filled by the parents’ ideas.

But do the parents realize that using a bank-clerk method minimizes or annuls their children’s creative power? Some parents do not realize it, they become oppressors and their children the oppressed. They consider their children inexperienced and ignorant. The parents think that their children have to learn what they teach them without asking or questioning anything, this way they would be integrated into the society accepting the passive role imposed on them. Strepsiades can be a good example of a father using “banking” education. Strepsiades wants his son to join the Thinkery to learn the two logics to save him from his debts.

In the beginning, Pheidippides does not want to join the Thinkery because he believes that people from the Thinkery are crazy and what is taught is a fraud. Finally, Strepsiades persuades Pheidippides and he joins the Thinkery. Strepsiades claims “So tutor him in your two logics – traditional Philosophical Logic and that flashy modern sophistic logic they call Immoral because it’s so wonderfully wicked. In any case, if he can’t master both logics, I insist that he learn the Immoral Kind of argument” (The Clouds 66). Strepsiades does not question Socrates methods, he tells Socrates to take his son as his student and teach him the two logics.

Stresiades does not care whatever it would take for Pheidippides to learn the two logics. Stresiades sees Pheidippides just as tool that would server the purpose of avoiding to pay his debts. Pheidippides is the oppressed and he can not question or criticize any method that they would use in the Thinkery to teach him the two logics. However, other parents like mine, using a coalition of both educational methods, sometimes talk in a mandatory way and nothing is negotiable; as Colonel Graff, the head of the battle school, does with Ender.

Occasionally, my parents talk to me as a friend in a rational way, sharing their experiences and exposing their problems. As equal human beings, we reach the communication between teacher and student; in the process of learning from each other we expose Freire’s “emerging consciousness”. We do not see parents just as an authority, we see them as friends, together, through dialogue, critical criteria, and creativity we develop a problem-posing education.

In Ender’s case, he is the third child of the Wiggin’s family; he knows that he could not stay with his biological parents, his instincts push him toward new experiences and the discovery of new things. He leaves his parents in an early age to join a battle school. Beginning on that day, Colonel Graff acts as Ender’s father at the school and Ender’s life would not be the same again. Like Ender, I felt the same attraction when I first joined culinary school at age of 13, leaving my family far away to experience one of the biggest challenges in my life.

I would be alone in a place where everything and everybody was unknown to me. This life experience was a vital part of my educational journey. As Freire believes “Students, as they are increasingly posed with problems relating to themselves in the world and with the world, will feel increasingly challenged and obligated to respond to that challenge” (Freire 81). Freire thinks that when we find challenges in our life, that relate to ourselves, we develop the power to perceive critically the way of our existence in the world and in which we find ourselves; becoming teachers-students and students-teachers.

Graff enforces “banking” education on Ender, manipulating, isolating, and limiting his existence in the school. Graff believes We could be wiped out and it would adjust, it would get on with the next step in evolution. But humanity doesn’t want to die. As a species, we have evolved to survive. And the way we do it is by straining a straining and, at last, every few generations, giving birth to genius. The one who invents the wheel. And light. And flight. The one who builds a city, a nation, an empire. (Ender’s Game 35). Graff explains to Ender why they chose him to join the battle school.

He tells Ender that they expect him to be a hero and save humanity. As a tutor and teacher. Graff, being a bank-clerk, pushes Ender to his limits, but Ender’s reaction is different, the more they challenge and isolate him the more he awakes his emerging consciousness. Ender soon becomes the best strategist and leader of the battle school. On the other hand, Pecola’s story is totally different from Ender’s. Pecola bears the blame for the sins, crimes, mistakes or misfortunes of her parents, she suffers abuses from her parents, and people at the school even the cashier from the grocery store that sees through her.

She is treated as a marginal person who does not fit in to white people’s view of what beauty means for society. For Pecola, beauty means to have blue eyes. Pecola feels As long as she looked the way she did, as long as she was ugly, she would have to stay with these people. Somehow she belonged to them. Long hours she sat looking in the mirror, trying to discover the secret of the ugliness, the ugliness that made her ignored or despised at school, by teachers and classmates alike. She was the only member of her class who sat alone at a double desk. The blues eye 45). Pecola does not like the world of isolation and oblivion where she lives. She associates black with ugliness. She tries to find an answer to why people ignore and despised her at the school and at home. She thinks that the solution for all her problems is to get blue eyes, and for her blue eyes are synonymous of acceptance and beauty. Unfortunately Pecola’s experiences at the school are not pleasant, fortunately, we join the educational world going to the school, and enjoying the adbantanges of education.

The school of life together with the other educations helps us to improve our civilization. In this process, we find educators that would choose the “banking” system or the problem posing method. In my experience, some of the professors that I had in the past, used “banking” system; they would become transmitters and we would be the receptors. Most of the time with this kind of education you learn whatever the teacher tells you to learn, but in a short period of time this information would disappear. With a problem-posing education there is a relationship between professor and student.

The class would become more active and teacher and student would become subjects of the educational process and humanism, they would learn from each other. Freire believes Those who use the “banking” approach, knowingly or unknowingly (for there are innumerable well-intentioned bank-clerk teachers who do not realize that they are serving only to dehumanize), fail to perceive that the deposits themselves contain contradictions about reality. But, sooner or later, these contradictions may lead formerly passive students to turn against their domestication and the attempt to domesticate reality.

They may discover through existential experience that their present way of life is irreconcilable with their vocation to become fully human (Freire 75). Freire tells us that sometimes bank-clerk teachers do not realize that this method affects the students. It limits their thinking capability to be critical, to be creative and to develop new theories or ideas. He also tells us that the contradictions about reality sometimes may lead the passive students to awake their consciousness and to go against their teachers and the “banking” method in order to become fully human.

For example, Ender usually is pushed to his limits by Graff who uses a “banking” method, isolating him from the rest of the students, challenging and changing the rules always. But Ender never surrenders, he answers his teachers in a problem poser way solving all the challenges using his emerging consciousness. It is true that at a certain point, Ender believes “It’s the teachers, they’re the enemy. They get us to fight each other, to hate each other. The game is everything. Win win win. It amounts to nothing” (Ender’s game 108).

Eventually, Ender sees the teachers as his enemies and the game as nothing, which he demonstrates through such actions as his at the battle against two armies. As Freire says the contradictions about reality, leads the passive students to turn against the domesticate reality. Ender declares “I’m trapped here, Ender thought, trapped at the End of the World with no way out. And he knew at last the sour taste that had come to him, despite all his successes in the Battle School. It was despair” (Ender’s Game 141).

Ender tells us how he feels about being manipulated and also about lacking control over his own life. He fears the possibility of running out of ideas and not being able to win. He is worried because he has a huge responsibility. He is the last hope of the humanity. He knows that if he wants to win against the Buggers he has to learn more about them, he has to learn how to love his enemies, this way he finds their weaknesses and he uses this strategy to destroy them. However, Ender and Pheidippides are from different genres and belong to distant eras.

Pheidippides in the Thinkery is exposed to radical thinkers like Sophistry and by highly imaginative thinkers like Socrates. Above all, this creates repercussion, undermining traditional values and corrupting the moral of youths. Sohpistry is a clear example of a problem poser method and he teaches Pheidippides that the principles of a society, such as justice and truth, are just concepts that can be adapted or interpreted to the needs of society. After he graduates from the Socrates’ Thinkery, Pheidippides believes that he is a new man.

Using his emerging consciousness he thinks that with this power he can challenge everybody and everything. Pheidippides points out “But now, now that Socrates has made a fresh Pheidippides of me, now that my daily diet is Philosophy, Profundity, Subtlety, and Science, I propose to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt the philosophical propriety of beating my Father” (The clouds 103). Pheidippides emerging consciousness allows him to break and create his own rules, he says that his father deserves the beating because his father ordered him to play a lyre and sing a song even when Pheidippides did not wish to do it.

His father keeps ordering things and Pheidippides did not agree with his father’s wishes, consequently he beat his father. Pheidippides justifies his acts telling his father that he beats him because he loves him and he says that for him loving and beating are synonymous. Pheidippides emerging consciousness makes him a bully. Never mind Pheidippides, Pecola’s classmates torment and abuse her for being black and ugly, she is also raped by her father, and eventually she becomes pregnant by him.

Although the baby dies, her mother treats her coldly, as she thinks Pecola is ugly and is ashamed of her. Pecola becomes a martyr, she just wants to disappear from this world. She thinks that she is responsible for all bad things that happen in the world. Claudia who is Pocola’s friend comments The damage done was total. She spent her days, her tendril, sap-green days, walking up and down, up and down, her head jerking to the beat of a drummer so distant only she could hear. Elbows bent, hands on shoulders, she flailed her arms like a bird in an eternal, grotesquely futile effort to fly.

Beating the air, a winged but grounded bird, intent on the blue void it could not reach—could not even see—but which filled the valleys of the mind. (The bluest eye 204). Claudia describes Pecola who has lost her mind. Pecola is force farther into her fantasy world, which is her defense against violence and cruelty. The school of life awakes Pecola’s emerging consciousness in a different way from the other students, instead to expose to the world and confront the challenges; she drives herself into a state of madness over the blue eyes.

Tired of a dark and sad world she decides to disconnect with the reality and she creates her world, with her own rules and friends where everything is beautiful and perfect, where she has the bluest eyes. It is true, that our emerging consciousness is the result of our different educations that is based on a problem-poser method, it does not serve the concern of the oppressor. Freire thinks as revolutionaries, we perceive the world as a reality in the process of evolution instead of a static reality. Therefore we should strive for a humanist society.

Development of Evolution Concept

It is a matter of fact that history of evolution is very long and contradictive. The concept of evolution has existed even since ancient times and is being developing nowadays. Modern theory of evolutionary thought was established in 18th-19th centuries. Many outstanding and famous scientists contributed the evolutionary thought and interpreted it in their own way. As it was mentioned above, the concept of evolution appeared and was strongly supported in ancient time by Anaximander, Democritus, Epicurus and Empedocles.

Those Greek philosophers made the first attempt to explain the concept of evolution suggesting that humans, sun, earth life and civilization emerged from “aeons without divine intervention”. (Bowler 2003, 23) The Roman philosopher Lucretius described life development in stages starting from atoms collisions and ending with succession of animals and less brutish humans. Nevertheless, evolutionary thoughts died in Europe after the Roman Empire had fallen; however, the ideas were developed in Islamic countries.

It is known that Al-Jahiz claimed that environment affected the animals’ survivals and it had to affect humans as well. Ibn al-Haitham argued even about the explicitly for evolutionism. (Bowler 2003) Matthew Hale in 1677 used the term “evolution” t attack the atomism of Epicurus and Democritus. He argued that their atomist theory and suggested that collisions and vibrations of atoms had formed not humans and animals, but semina that were “immediate, primitive, productive principles of men, animals, birds and fishes”. (Riddle 1954, 89) Hale called that mechanism absurdity.

The concept of evolution was contributed also by German scientists including Schelling and Hegel. According to them evolution appears to be a fundamentally spiritual process involving both natural and divine interventions. They argued that evolution was “a self- disclosing revelation of the absolute”. (Riddle 1954, 89) In the early 18th century German scientist Leibniz suggested that the objects are caused by internal forces. He supported the idea of that evolution involved divine principles. He mentioned that universe couldn’t be formed without God’s works. (Riddle 1954)

In 1745 Pierre Maupertius suggested rather interesting concept considering that all the modern species are the smallest parts produced by the blind destiny. According to him “chance” has produced innumerable individuals; however only few individuals are able to satisfy their needs, whereas others perish. Therefore he presented the idea of natural selection further contributed by Charles Darwin. One more scientist Buffon suggested the mutability of species and underlined that organisms are influenced strongly by natural processes.

In 1755 Kant, German philosopher and scientist predicted the theory that unformed matter develops into the highest types of plants and animals. Kant believed that modifications and variations were the response to “mechanical laws of the organisms themselves rather than to the influence of their surroundings”. (Bowler 2003, 120) Herder, for example, agreed with the concept of natural selection stating that struggle foe survival and existence played the major role in organic world, although the theme remained undeveloped and rather vague.

In the early 19th century Wells assumed that evolution of humans is the principle of natural selection. It is known that Darwin was unaware of Wells’ suggestions and later he acknowledged that Wells was the first to promote the idea of natural selection in the evolutionary thought. In 1833 Charles Lyell emphasized the gradual variation of evolution, where each specie had “centre of creation and was diagnosed for habitat, but would go extinct when the habitat changed”. (Bowler 2003, 126) The concept was supported by Herschel outlined that natural laws played the most important role in species forming.

Nevertheless, the most important contribution into development of evolutionary though was actually made by Charles Darwin. Darwin criticized the previous ideas about natural selection assuming they failed to propone the coherent philosophy and to suggest the proper mechanism of species variations. Darwin, in his turn, stated that species had arisen from the “selective actions of external conditions upon the variations from their specific type which individuals present and which is called spontaneous”. (West 1938, 147) The Darwin’s theory proved to be successful providing the useful statistical models of evolution.

In the late 19th century evolutionary though was considerably contributed by the works of Gregor Mendel. He carried out series of experiments and in result provided models for inheritance based on the unit of gene. However, Mendel’s works remained unappreciated for many years and even ignored by biologists. Mendel’s works were “discovered” in 1990 and caused a conflict between Mendelians. (Riddle 1954) In 1970s the neutral theory of molecular evolution was presented by famous scientist Motoo Kimura who the first to establish the genetic drift and considered it a mechanism of evolution.

One more interesting idea was generated by Lynn Margilus. He presented the theory of symboigenesis arguing that genetic drift and mutations are not enough to explain the concepts of evolution. In the theory Margulis stated that species emerged through the process of symbiosis. (Riddle 1954) In 1972 Stephen Gould suggested the theory of punctuated equilibrium. All the theories were followed by renewal of structuaralist themes in evolutionary ideology. For example, Brian Goodwin incorporated in his researches the ideas of systems theory along with cybernetics and thus emphasized the important role of natural selection.

In 1995 Daniel Dennett argued that Darwin’s natural selection is “algorithmic process applicable to many circumstances besides biological evolution”. (Bowler 2003, 225) Such concept of evolution was called “universal Darwinism”. It is necessary to outline that the development of evolutionary thought was vivid, though contradictive. Lots of theories and concepts were developed to explain the evolution of human beings, but scientists failed to find the only satisfactory explanation. Nowadays some theories are disapproved, others are improved and followed. (Henderson 2000)

Evolution of Life as Dasavatharam

Evolution of life explained in Dasavatharam

Many people Including some scientist don't believe In god Just because they think It's superstitious or something that doesn't exist. Our ancestors are also scientists in some ways. The people in very olden days used to accurately measure the time without having watch, people used to accurately predict the occurrence of lunar and solar eclipse without the facility which nowadays we have. We really dont know what they implemented to find these. Only thing we can do is to respect them and believe hat we always have something superior to us.

Now let us see In detail how Dasavatharam (ten Incarnations of lord Vishnu) Is related to the evolution of life.

Ten incarnation of lord Vishnu and evolution of life

1. Matsya avatharam (Incarnation in form of Fish ) :

This is the first incarnation of lord Vishnu. Matsya means fish in Sanskrit. It is believed that the life first originated from ocean. As we know fish can live only in water. Similarly the first life came from water.

2. Kurma avatharam (Incarnation In the form of Tortoise):

This Is the second ncarnation of lord Vishnu. Kurma means tortoise. It Is believed by science that after life originated from water, than life tries to enter land where it can live in both water and land. Similarly to this Tortoise can live in both water and land.

3. Varaha avatharam (Incarnation in the form of Pig):

This is the third incarnation of lord Vishnu. Varaha is in the form of Pig. After life that can exist in both water and land than came life which can only exist in land In the form of animals. This is what this Incarnation Indicates; a Pig can live only In land not In oceans.

4. Naraslmha avatharam (Incarnation In the form of half man and animal l:

In Sanskrit Nara means humans and Simha means animal ( Lion ). In this incarnation the lord appears with a Lion face and human body. Similarly this says that humans where evolved from animals. This is also science says.

5. Vamana avatharam (Incarnation in the form of a short man):

This avathara mainly points out that small men evolved from the animals. The shortness Just to Imply the Incompleteness In the growth of the humans.

6. Parasurama avatharam (Incarnation in the form of uncivilized man):

This Incarnation is to mainly point out that humans evolved had lot of animal characters in them. They used the things in the forest for their survival. This is what this incarnation tries to tell.

7. Rama avatharam (Incarnation in the form of civilized man):

After that men turned into a civilized person and use some better weapons than used from the forests. But still the man had animal contact with them. This is what Incarnation of Rama tells. Rama also used Sugreeva and his troops for his war. These troops were In the form of monkeys.

8. Balarama avatharam:

After that man started agriculture to produce food. He became independent from animals. This is what the incarnation of Balarama tries to tell.

9. Krishna avatharam:

As we know that Krishna played an important role in the great Mahabharata. Humans started to learn things and became more intelligent. They learned to make tricks with people and fool them like what we do. This is what the incarnation of Krishna was about.

10. Kalkl avatharam takes this incarnation to destroy the whole world.

According to me this incarnation tries to say that humans are going to be part in the destruction of the world. Also we are in the slow process of destruction of the world. So this is how the incarnation of lord Vishnu goes hand in hand with the evolution of humans. These are some of the proofs which tell that god really exists. So it our duty to preserve our ancestors works and respect them and god. However science may go in advancement but it can never match the supremacy of lord. Believe in Hinduism and appreciate the science in it.

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