27 mars 2012

Banking Theory of Schooling

   A phrase rejecting the idea that adults transmit wisdom to students and stock students' minds with important knowledge that will be useful in the future. Such knowledge, opponents of the banking theory say, merely indoctrinates students into accepting the social status quo.
   They recommend that the banking theory be replaced with "critical-thinking skills" (which see), which will develop independent-mindedness and lead to social justice.

   This ideological attack on the transmission of knowledge in schooling has proved to be no more effective or practical than other expressions of the tool conception of education. While the attack on the banking theory has been favored by some theorists of the political Left, it is not currently accepted by all of them, since historically the alternative theory has failed to improve the condition of disadvantaged students.

   A positive version of the banking theory developed by other sociologists of the Left is called "intellectual capital" (which see). Under this theory, knowledge functions like money capital in that it enables the accumulation of still more capital — an idea consistent with findings in cognitive psychology. In short, the attack on the banking theory has failed on its own terms both empirically and ideologically. (See also "Transmission theory of schooling.")



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This was an excerpt from Hirsch's great book on education :
The Schools We Need 
 and Why We Don't Have Them.
Recension by Richard Askey : http://mathematicallycorrect.com/hirsch.htm
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