“Unbanking” Education: Exploring Constructs of Knowledge, Teaching, Learning
In the United States, education is often held up as a primary mechanism for achieving a more just and equitable society by expanding both the individual’s and society’s opportunities and possibilities. Moreover, literacy, broadly defined as the ability to decode, comprehend, interpret, and create written texts, is understood by most people to be the keystone of this educational process. However, far too many of our young people, particularly African Americans, are ill served by the current educational process. For them, schooling is a dehumanizing process that serves to limit, not expand, their life choices and opportunities. Of particular concern to those committed to an empowering education for African American youth are the literacy practices, experiences and opportunities to learn that schools and teachers provide. In his seminal work Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire (2000) presents a passionately articulated philosophy for a humanizing education, one that, through critical literacy, offers the potential for education to serve as a liberating and transformative force in society.