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The 21st Challenge in Education: Say ‘No’ to Banking Instruction

There is oppression within the teacher-student relationships where learning becomes lifeless and sick from the banking concept of education. The existentialist experiences of the students from the context of learning make them endangered in the pursuit of learning, alienated from the world of reality.

The banking concept of education may be defined as traditional way of learning in which teachers are the subjects while the learners are the objects in the learning situation. The conscious state of the students to learn depends on the knowledge given by the teachers. That is, the teacher just fills in the empty vessels of student’s consciousness and fails to project and work for the interventions in the world as transformers of that world.

The teachers as bank-clerk educators solely negate the education, that oppression is evident in the concept that they justify their existence in the absolute ignorance of the students. The humanitarianism is used instinctively against the experiment in education to preserve profitable situation. The mentality is that, the “humanistic” of this banking approach masks the effort to transform men to automatons— dehumanizing and domesticating them to the false notion that they can exist in the mysticism, distorting the reality, that world exists for them.

From the banking concept point of view, the students remain static and passive from the changes and challenges of the world. They receive the world of information as passive entities without adaptation, making them unfit to the world. Because of this, the authenticity of the world becomes impossible where greater isolation is evident. It is truly observed that, this concept does not develop the critical thinking and creative power of the students to react actively and critically with the problems and changes of the world. As a result, there is a need for authentic liberation to respond and reflect the world through men’s effort to transform it.

Liberal education is a 21st challenge in education, that the teacher-student relationships must be extended in the action and reflection of transforming the world in the practice of freedom. The three C’s in the newest educational trend—communication, creativity and connection, must be in practice to contradict the concept of banking education. The two-way process of learning makes the situation emerge from the said oppression where critical reflection evolves both in teacher and students. The traditional practice of domination in education will be now denied in the process.

It is very true that this authentic reflection considers neither abstract man nor the world without men, in their relations with the world. In the problem posing education from these liberal ideas singles out that both teacher and students shall see the world not as static reality, but as a reality in process, in transformation. Now, the students are no longer treated as mere objects but subjects of learning.

The drive for transformation shall exist in the learning situation where teacher and students must engage in this movement. The humanization in reality must deal man’s historical vocation and intention of liberating praxis. These are fundamental ideas of true learning that men shall be taught in active order, reflective and transformative knowledge and surviving power to overcome oppression and alienation from the world.


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Marichele Merculio

Marichele M. Merculio, Education Program Specialist II in the Schools Division of Nueva Ecija. She is 35 years old, an English curriculum writer, division trainer in English, Campus Journalism and Indigenous Peoples Education (IPED). She finished Master of Arts in Language and Literature at Central Luzon State University.

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