Creativity Vs. Memorization


In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire describes two major models of education, the “banking” model and the “problem solving” model.   Freire demonstrates his dislike for the “banking” system and describes it as an oppressive system with no room for independent thinking.  As opposed to the  “problem solving” model, which  encourages freedom of creativity and change.   

The “banking” model of education was defined as a system where students are taught to simply receive, memorize, and repeat information only to receive higher grades on standardized tests. This refrains students from communicating and implying education knowledge to the real world.   In this model, the subject is the teacher and the listening object are the students.   The students are described as “depositories”  and the teacher is described as a “depositor”.  The teacher makes the deposit and the student receives, files, and stores the deposit.  The students comply to the teachers choice, but have no idea that they have an opinion and can contradict the teacher.  This takes away a student’s ability to be unique and creative, which is the most crucial part of learning.  A student should not just be taught math or english, but instead they should also be taught about each other.  The “banking” system intervenes a student from the world because they are not aware of their critical consciousness.  An example of the “banking” model is standardized testing.  Students are taught how to take the test as opposed to obtaining educational knowledge for the test.  The teacher just presented information since they knew “everything”  and the student was expected to follow because they knew “nothing”.   It was like an empty account that was waiting a deposit.  

The  “problem solving” model engages students and teachers to work together   in communicating and learning information.  Both sides present their opinion, so that there are multiple perspectives.  “In problem-posing education, men develop their power to perceive critically the way they exist in the world with which and in which they find themselves; they come to see the world not as a static reality, but as a reality in process, in transformation”.  The students are taught to change the world instead of having to change for the world.  The teacher is also learning and the students are teaching each other.  Classrooms are more engaging and students are taught to think critically and evaluate.  This system helps students find their creativity and helps lead them to their success.  Students are not just restating information, but creating arguments and oppositions.  It gives students the skill they need to know to differentiate them from other student’s.  An example of “problem solving” model is when teachers engage lectures by creating different teaching methods.  Instead of just speaking or putting up power points, teachers create critical questions or engaging conversations  that help present information in different ways.  This creates a comfortable and entertaining way of learning.  

I felt that the   “problem solving” model was more compelling.  Students are taught to be creative and express a variety of perspectives.  This creates understanding and distinguishes a student from another. Students are also taught knowledge that they will have stored in their brains and can use in the future.  It helps a person express themselves and be free, instead of speaking someone else’s words.  



  1. Do you agree with Freire’s argument that the “problem-posing” model of teaching should replace the “banking” model of education?
  2. Which model do you believe we are experiencing today?  How can we get to a  “problem-posing” model of teaching?


Work Cited

Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum. 1968

8 thoughts on “Creativity Vs. Memorization”

  1. Hi Sumaiya. You wrote a very good detailed blog post. In my opinion I feel that this chapter takes us back to the discussions we had in the beginning of the semester. It was when we read “Lecture Me. Really.” by Molly Worthen, and “Professors Shouldn’t Teach to Younger Versions of Themselves” by Rebecca Schuman. Worthen argued the importance of lectures (banking model) and we all debated on how another method such as “problem solving” would be better. I believe that we mostly experience the “banking” model. Three out of my five classes are lecture classes. The teachers are “storing the deposits” in us which makes us the “depositories.” To get to a “problem-posing” model today teachers have to make students participate. In the last paragraph of your blog you said, “Students are taught to be creative and express a variety of perspectives. This creates understanding and distinguishes a student from another. Students are also taught knowledge that they will have stored in their brains and can use in the future. It helps a person express themselves and be free, instead of speaking someone else’s words.” I really agree with what you said because if the “problem solving” method is used more than a student will definitely expand their knowledge besides relying on what they hear in lectures or from the “banking” method. They have to ask the students questions so they get involved. If students will get involved they will think more and use their knowledge critically and creatively.

  2. Hi Sumayia, I also agree with your response that the “problem solving” model is the most interesting way of learning. Using this method the teacher and students are interacting and creating debates which make it interesting to learn. Our English class is a perfect example of the “problem solving” model. I really enjoy when our professor tells us to get into a circle to share our thoughts and ideas. I find each class interesting and refreshing. In all the readings we have had it always comes down to how education is taught and our preferences. I don’t believe that the “banking” model is the right approach of teaching for me only because I don’t think that I would be able to stay focused the entire time of the lecture. Can you imagine how boring our class would have been if we were taught that way.

  3. Hi Sumaiya. l agree that “problem-posing” model of teaching should replace the “banking” model of education. If not, students are just machines who can’t think by themselves and being stationary. l think our society will weeks out “banking” model” of education, because it impedes the development of our lives. Instead, students are getting more and more “problem-posing” model education these years. It’s a good thing and l’m glad having many classes under “problem-posing” model education.
    In my opinion, one way to get to a “problem-posing” model of teaching is teachers can arouse interests and curiousness of students in learning and asking. Both teachers and students can form a good relation of solving and thinking synchronously.

  4. Hello Sumaiya, great blog! In response to your first question, I also agree with the “problem-posing” model. The “problem-posing” model provokes thought, curiosity, wonderment. It mentally stimulates both the student and the teacher, allowing the students to gain interest in what they are learning, create an attachment, and not just focus on memorizing information for a test. The students learn to think on their own, not to conform, and be truly creative. The “banking” model is bland and robotic. As said by Freire, with the “banking” model “Education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor.” Information is simply dumped onto the student for them to memorize thoughtlessly for a test and then go on with their lives. It is not human. Humans have evolved the way we have, because we wondered, we were curious, which led to new discoveries and advanced our species as a whole. We are intelligent creatures, so why is the way we are being taught so unintelligent?

  5. Very well said blog Sumaiya! I agree that the “banking” model doesn’t get students ready for the real world. It is just designed for them to retain information. This information is purely needed for standardized exams. In most cases, after that exam the students forget all about the information taught to them. The “Problem Solving” model, however, engages the students. It is a type of active learning that many students are adapting to this day in age. This method interacts students with the material so they can retain the information easily and not forget it after an exam.

  6. The blog you posted was very interesting Sumaiya! Your blog helped me to differentiate between the two learning models that Freire discussed in Pedagogy of the Oppressed. I agree with you when you said that the problem solving model was a better suit for students trying to learn in the new world that is today. The way that the problem solving model engages students and helps them learn from each other and the teacher is a much better way of learning than the banking model. The banking model seemed like just another way that the learning system can be a difficult place for students that learn via doing rather then listening or watching.

  7. From Paulo Freire’s article, there were two major models of education, the “banking” model and the “problem solving” model. We were talking about the “banking” model in the earlier of this semester; this kind of education system takes away students’ ability to be unique and creative, which is not good for students’ long-term development. I think everyone agree with that “problem solving” model is better, because the main purpose of education is to teach students how to think and help them gain the ability to solve problems by themselves.

  8. Wow, great blog post. You did an excellent job in first giving a quick but complete summary and second relaying your opinion on the topic in a clear and concise manner. I have to admit I am a little bit conflicted when it comes to this reading. On the one hand I am all for the problem-posing method that Freire so eloquently expresses in this reading, but on the other hand I think this “banking” method has its place in education. As a member of a civilized society such as ours there are certain topics that a person has to have proper knowledge of, the “banking” method in my experience is the most successful for teaching and learning certain topics such as history. As Americans our history is important and this “banking” method provides a stable way of learning. I’m not saying go all in on the banking but I’m also not all in on problem-posing. There needs to be a good balance because both have their merits.

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