Pouring in learning

I am currently participating in a discussion entitled Active Learning Strategies for Online Learning at SCoPE, and one of the participants posted this image that struck me as very applicable to a host of learning issues. funnelI used to believe that information could be dumped in, but have since learned that socio-cultural and historical factors make this impossible. No two people could ever learn the same thing in the same way–context is against it.

I think about how this exemplifies Paulo Freire and his criticism of traditional pedagogy as “banking” education. In this form, education is banked and thus controlled by those in power to choose a curriculum. All knowledge is conveyed through this lens, with what is considered right and wrong, good and bad, and just and unjust seen in this manner as being what should (morality?) be done. Power is thus maintained by promoting a worldview that protects the establishment, even while on the surface claiming to challenge it. There is no more certain way to challenge a social system than by challenging both the content as well as the methodology of its educational establishment.

It is no wonder why many in society complain about our current state of education, yet it seems nearly impossible to fundamentally change the system itself. That would disrupt many whose careers are built around promoting the very thing that they claim is wrong. I wonder, in a psychoanalytic way, if this is a veiled form of self-hatred?

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