Curriculum 1999, which states that ‘It is equally important that the beliefs and sensibilities of every child arerespected?’ Considering the fact that our population consists of 1 in 10 non-nationals, I strongly agree with (Spicer, D,Sides, E., 1996: 55) ‘Friendship and mutual respect between children of different backgrounds, and an ethos thatencourages co-operation and responsibility, lays the best foundation for individual and social morality and democracy’,and I think that a multi-denominational approach to education is an appropriate way to accept the changing Irish society.
Reflective Exercise 3 for Philosophy of Education:
Having read chapter 2 of the book “Pedagogy of theOppressed”, I believe that Freire’s writing can encourage teachers to reflect on their own philosophy of teaching andlearning. It is a well written text which includes strong arguments, contrasts between two different philosophies of teaching, and it uses the imperative tone, including language such as ‘They must’, (Freire, P., 1993:2) which has the power to inspire people. The philosophy of teaching that Freire favours is the problem-posing method, and I agree withhim, as it seems to have more benefits for the teacher and the pupil because both learn from the process. This contrastswith the banking method of teaching, which implies that the role of the teacher is, as Freire (1993:2) states ‘to fill thestudents with the contents of his narration’. I object to this type of an education system, as it is an absolute contradictionof the meaning of the word ‘educare’, which I learned last year in Philosophy of Education, to mean ‘to draw out’.The banking system involves a huge level of oppression,which Freire clearly shows in a list of the ‘teacher-student contradiction’, which causes me to oppose this system. Thecontradiction which affected me the most was ‘the teacher disciplines and the students are disciplined’. This is one of ten examples which show the powerlessness of the oppressed students. This comment is similar to saying “the driver drives and the car is driven”. The car is an object and is merely “driven” by the driver, yet this example is so similar tothe discipline example Freire uses, which refers to real people with feelings i.e. the students. I therefore agree with thestatement ‘banking education begins with a false understanding of men and women as objects’ (Freire, P., 1993:2) andthe system ‘rejects consciousness’ (Freire, P., 1993:2). The close link between people and objects implies the unjustlack of consciousness in the banking system. Since the text was written in 1993, the Irish Primary School Curriculum1999 has been introduced and it is far more child-centred. The previous 1971 curriculum in Ireland followed the banking method. Some teachers still resort to aspects of the banking method, however, any teacher who reads Freire’stext will be convinced to avoid this.The problem posing system is far more positiveand co-operative, as all parties involved gain a lot from it and according to Freire (1993:2), they become jointlyresponsible for a process in which all grow. The four principles of Freire’s problem posing theory, which are, accordingto Freire (1993:2); love, dialogue, reflection, action and transformation, at first seemed slightly difficult to understand inthe context of education, however having listened to Ann Higgins discuss how she applied Freire’s principles to her lifeas an educationalist, I now have a clearer understanding of them. The comment by Ann that “sometimes you need to bedisturbed to notice a silent cry”, affected me as it allowed me to understand that Freire’s reference to love means a senseof care and awareness of others. Dialogue involves co-operation and communication in the education system. I realisehow important it is to discuss their children with parents, who know their child best. Some teachers seem to think thatthey are a level above the parents, and many teachers seem unapproachable, in the parents’ eyes. Hearing Ann Higginsspeak with such pride has inspired me to follow Freire’s pedagogy even more. What I hope to implement having readFreire’s principles of education are: 1) communicating openly with pupils and their parents, 2) to have a sense of careand dedication to teaching which will give a greater awareness of the pupils needs and wants in education, 3) to identify