Teaching Philosophy

Developed for more than two hundred years, economic literature has significantly changed the way people thinking about the economic behaviors, events, societies, and the world. Most of the economic issues can be examined as fact based on economic theories and methods – which is called the positive economics. In the meantime, more and more issues are reflected as value based on economic principles and ethics – which is called the normative economics. Economics provide us with the objective understanding of what the world economy is like as well as the subjective reflection of what the world economy should be like. Having Studied economics for almost seven years, I am always fascinated by the life philosophy that I learned from economics. And I hope to incite my students’ passion for learning economics and discover their value and meaning of life through learning of economics.

The world economy is complicated as it involves 7.5 billion people and 195 countries. To be able to understand the world economy comprehensively and detailedly, we will start learning from the microeconomics (such as individuals, households, and firms) to the macroeconomics (such as countries, continents, and the global world). We will have lectures with textures as well as discussions with dialogues. We will represent different groups of people in analyzing the economic activities as well as different views of ethics, morality, and fairness in improving economic welfares. We will develop a learning environment of inclusiveness and diversity as well as a learning atmosphere of heuristics and critiques.

Throughout the teaching, my commitment as a teacher is reflected in the three principles:

  1. to nurture positive and inclusive learning;
  2. to inspire creative and critical learning;
  3. to develop a solid foundation for lifelong learning.

To accomplish this, we are obliged to follow the educational ethics and professional norms and maintain our mutual respects in and out of classes. In addition, we are all encouraged to make efforts to encompass these principles through individual and collaborative learning, diversity and inclusive discussion, problem posing and solving, and peer and self-assessment.

Individual and Collaborative Learning: Considering the different background of all students, I will design preliminary activities, such as first-day class survey and brief bio introduction, to help me identify the preliminary cognition of each student and tailor the instructional plan accordingly. After identifying individual background and preference, I will then suggest all students create small learning groups for collaborative teamwork (exemption cases are considerable but may require additional discussions). As an experienced student, I recognize that the best approach for learning is through a healthy and balanced combination of competition and cooperation, which can benefit classroom learning and management at all levels. To promote this learning process, I will prepare constructive lectures, assignments, and projects in concert with the curriculum schedule.

Diversity and Inclusive Discussion: Being an international graduate student, I’ve fully acknowledged the diverse existence of individual values, social norms, cultural ethics, religious beliefs, nurturing environments, etc. And this experience has contributed a lot to the development of my inclusive, respectful, open-minded personality. So in my class, I embrace all efforts that make our learning environment full of inclusiveness and mutual respects. However, inclusiveness does not necessarily mean consensus. In other words, I encourage every student to speak out their understandings, concerns, agreements and disagreements in a mutually respectful manner. By establishing a diversified and respectful learning environment, we can learn more than we may expect otherwise.

Problem Posing and Solving: While lectures and discussions are useful in helping students memorize and understand the course contents, they may be not enough for students to thoroughly apply, analyze, and extend the knowledge materials. Problem posing and solving exercises provide students with great opportunities to bring out a real-world economic issue, to apply what we have learned to make a professional analysis and find the feasible solution(s). Not necessarily has it to be an unprecedented or splendid issue, but it is suggested to be extensive and creative. For examples, it can be a study with a novel method of analyzing and modeling the previous findings, or a critical assessment of the previous literature. Throughout these exercises, students will develop the way of thinking and understand the economic issues as an economist.

Peer and Self-Assessment: Lion F. Gardiner once wrote that “Assessment is essential not only to guide the development of individual students but also to monitor and continuously improve the quality of programs, inform prospective students and their parents and provide evidence of accountability to those who pay our way.” To make these assessments, we will implement a set of peer and self-assessment basics, such as individual portfolios (assignments and exams, etc.) and teamwork projects and presentations (problem posing and solving exercises, etc.) to measure student mastery and evaluate the overall performance that students have accomplished according to the course objectives and anticipatory sets.

For these years of study, I have shown my enthusiasm and effort of learning and teaching. Following the above basic principles, I am confident of being a professional teacher and have well prepared for being a professional teacher. I understand that teaching is the toughest work in that it may shape a student’s life enormously. And I hope that teaching with passion, efforts, responsibilities and sincerity will ignite my students’ desire for life-long learning.

This is a draft of my teaching philosophy. Any useful suggestions (such as words, paragraphs, or grammars) are welcomed.

Teaching Philosophy

This weekend afforded me the opportunity (and time) to think deeply about my teaching philosophy. “Do I even have one yet?” I’m actually not sure. I think I do. Maybe? I have little ideas about what I believe is effective and what is not. I have opinions about what is right and wrong. Honestly, the idea of formulating a teaching philosophy still seems a bit daunting to me. It’s easy to be hard on yourself when you can’t come up with the perfect words to say.

I took a break, I listened to some podcasts, and I stumbled across an article that helped concentrate on what I felt to be most important in this quest. The article, titled The Headwinds/Tailwinds Asymmetry: An Availability Bias in Assessments of Barriers and Blessings, addressed key situations we often find ourselves in that lead us to feel as if the world is against us, the headwind is hindering our progress, or the hand we’ve been dealt is not ideal.

According to the article, these inherent biases cause (directly quotes from article abstract):

  1. Democrats and Republicans both to claim that the electoral map works against them.
  2. Football fans to take disproportionate note of the challenging games on their team’s schedules.
  3. People to believe that their parents have been harder on them than their siblings are willing to grant.
  4. Academics to think that they have a harder time with journal reviewers, grant panels, and tenure committees than members of other sub disciplines.

Though not surprising, I found the article to be particularly timely as I work to address my teaching philosophy, keeping in mind that the students I teach in the future will harbor these same biases (I will too). The article mentions the importance of simply being aware of this asymmetry in order to combat or partially combat the effects.

What struck me the most was the section addressing gratitude. I will now try to bring this all back to the original topic of teaching philosophy- gimme a sec.

Moving forward, with the acknowledgement of the inherent biases we all harbor and the probability that my teaching weaknesses may be interpreted as personal attacks or obvious preference, I think it is important that I remember to be gracious and cogniscent of my students. Regardless of how my hard-copy teaching philosophy changes over the years, if I am able to stay consciously aware of the blessing that is it to be able to teach and have a voice in the first place, I’ll always have a small wind at my back pushing me forward.

Davidai, S., & Gilovich, T. (2016). The headwinds/tailwinds asymmetry: An availability bias in assessments of barriers and blessings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology111(6), 835.


Reshaping the Relationship Between Teaching and Learning

This week’s topic made me revisit some of my convictions about teaching and learning, bringing these essential questions back into my mind: How do teaching and learning affect each other? Is the relation between teaching and learning unilateral or bilateral or completely separate? Are these processes simultaneous or sequential? Or do they have a temporal pattern at all? How does the form of teaching inform the content of learning? I see that my answers to these questions would significantly differ from my experience as an undergraduate student than my experience as a teacher. The former me would have fundamentally different answers than the latter. Observing the extent and the depth of this gap, I came to appreciate the power of Paulo Freire’s approach to pedagogy, which inspired me to review what I knew about the epistemology of teaching and to start shaping my teaching philosophy. For me, Freire draws a road map to becoming an influential educator by inciting curiosity and by providing a variety of information that will guide the students to find who they are and what they want to do with their life. My take away from this week’s readings is that both the teacher and the students embark on a journey together in which they learn from, they are inspired by, and act in solidarity with each other as they create an environment, which embraced the joy of learning, promotes braveness, and builds trust.


I believe, referring to educators as “learned scholars, community researchers, moral agents, philosophers, cultural workers, and political insurgents”[1] in the Freirean sense highlights an important aspect of the role and the position of the educator (70). According to Freire, teachers should focus on multifaceted critiques of dominant power in designing their curriculum, which encompasses curricular and instructional strategies. The actions informed as such should aim at creating a better learning environment, as well as at establishing a better society. Thus, for Freire, individual empowerment, which incites social change, cannot be thought apart from the learning process.


I am not sure whether Freire’s framework would be appealing for all educators, but his observation on the way in which the educational institutions can be both impediments or chances to fight oppression. His entire work and education philosophy has been focused on mapping the strategies, which he referred as “liberatory action” [2]  and which enable students to intervene in dehumanizing processes within institutions. In that sense, his approach has emphasized a process-based model of teaching in which students is empowered to think free from the dominance of the previous knowledge and to imagine their future free from the imposed norms and standards of the society through the development of their conscious.

What makes Freire approach distinct from the conventional teaching approaches is the way in which he problematized teacher’s authority. While he underlines the necessity of a type of authority that “respects the being and experiences of students”[3], he strongly opposes an authoritarian pedagogy, which operates by making “deposits of information in student mind banks”[4] and by making the student demonstrate learned information, as s/he is asked to “give it back to the teacher in the same form it was provided to” her/him. Freire conceptualizes the way of learning based on such relationship as “banking pedagogy.”[5] The students are considered as “”containers,” into “receptacles” to be “filled””[6] by the narrated account of the teacher.


Freire argues that the one-way structure of the relationship between students as “the depositories”[7] and educator as “depositor,” does not only produces a misguided system but also tear off humanity out of students. In breaking the cycle of reproducing the same knowledge in the same form, he offers an alternative method, which he called problem-posing education. Freire juxtaposes both approaches regarding the roles and positions of the student and the teacher/educator in detail. I found that among three of them had answers to my questions. First, this approach removes the hierarchal positioning between the teacher and the student in banking pedagogy and brings them to the same level where they create the knowledge together. It also embraces the student’s effort to develop consciousness and attempts for critical intervention in actual conditions. Finally, in problem-posing education, “people develop their power to perceive critically the way they exist in the world with which and in which they find themselves.” Within this process the lines that divide the roles of educator and students blur, leading both of them to reflect simultaneously on themselves.


Going back to my questions, I see that Freire’s thought would answer most of my questions:

To learn, then, logically precedes to teach. In other words, to teach is part of the very fabric of learning. This is true to such an extent that I do not hesitate to say that there is no valid teaching from which there does not emerge something learned and through which the learner does not become capable of recreating and remaking what has been thought. In essence, teaching that does not emerge from the experience of learning cannot be learned by anyone[8].


I argue that Freire would address the relation between teaching and learning as a bilateral unfinished process in which both of these actions take place both simultaneously and sequentially, claiming that particular instances of learning may happen independently. According to Freire, the form should not dictate the content in the process of learning and teaching, since” the process of learning, through which historically we have discovered that teaching is a task not only inherent to the learning process but is also characterized by it.” Although I am not sure whether I can commit to such a passionate and ambitious agenda of teaching, I came to realize that Freire’s contributions to philosophy and epistemology of pedagogy and his courage to seek ways to deal with the actuality without referring the suppression of past. Most important of all, I am thankful for bringing a new perspective, which challenges the monopolization of knowledge not only by individual actors but also certain forms of teaching that are capable of transcending our humanity, paving the way for dehumanization practices.

[1] Kinchloe Joe L., “Paulo Freire (1921-1997)” in The Critical Pedagogy Primer, 2004, 70.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Kinchloe Joe L., “Paulo Freire (1921-1997),” The Critical Pedagogy Primer, 2004, 74.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Freire, Paulo, “The Banking Concept of Education,” Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 1993, 71.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Freire, Paulo, “There is No Teaching Without Learning, ”Pedagogy of Freedom, 2001, 31

Critical Pedagogy: An Economist’s view

This is the first time I hear about Paulo Freire. Therefore:

  1. Forgive me for my ignorance.
  2. Forgive me if I make erroneous assumptions with respect to his views, despite reading this week’s material.

I am certain that I won’t be able to write a very informative opinion about his work. Regardless, I am glad that I’ve been been exposed to it because I find it very interesting.

I am a fourth year PhD student in Economics. I work with econometric models, programming and big data. I stress this because my blog post reflects the way I was trained to think. “Trained to think” is the key here.

A Culture of silence

This is something that I have seen happening in higher education, at the highest of levels. For instance, I recall a core PhD Economics course I took during my first year. It was a mathematical, self styled positive economics course with rigorous proofs and real analysis. However, the Professor would go on and make normative conclusions such as: “and this why X will NEVER work”. When I asked him about the Cambridge Capital Controversy, he had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. I was bewildered.

Here is an example of a man, a Dr., a Professor, so entrenched in the way he was “trained to think”, that he had never even heard of the positive counterarguments to his positive arguments.

What would a critical pedagogical praxis look like in Economics?

I can only write how a critical pedagogical praxis should NOT look like in Economics. Firstly, we need to be more critical about our discipline. For instance, maybe we should try being less absolute. Think less the way we were “trained to think”. In addition, we should be taught about the great debates and controversies in the development of Economic thought. I find that reading about the history of your discipline is important to understand in depth why we believe what we believe today. Why certain things are taught and some others not. Why an entire generation thinks homogeneously and a slight deviation could tantamount to academic suicide.

It is only when we stop thinking the way we were “trained to think” that we will start thinking.


Unfortunately, I grew up in a culture that lacks critical thinking inherently. In the past, many sages told people how to adapt to the society which they don’t like and to be “happy” with a miserable living. Even at recent decade, I got to know the world “critical “after entering college. As a freshman, how I wish I can think independently and not take any information as given like a fool! So I asked one of my favorite professor: “professor, how can I be thoughtful and think independently?” She didn’t answer my question directly, but said:” when freedom of speech is protected by the Law, and when people are not afraid to doubt anything because their thoughts and pursue of truth won’t be punished. There are many wise people in the world, but they are afraid to make a different voice.” At that moment, I realized that critical thinking is much more complicated than I thought before. It not only depends on how we train ourselves and the next generation, but also is affected by culture, power, social status, etc. Let me focus on education in this post. When I read The Banking Concept of Education by Paulo Freire, Freire compares “banking” education with oppressive society. The general idea makes sense to me but I think the problem is over simplified. Based on my understanding, banking education means that the instructors treat students like objectives and fill knowledge into their brains. While Freire’s solution is problem-posing education–through dialogue, teachers and students learn from each other. However, before using this approach to achieve critical pedagogy, a few prerequisites should be carefully considered. Firstly, I don’t believe that simply change teaching method can achieve critical thinking from my learning experience. For example, if the instructor is not very open-minded, he or she tends to seek the answer closest to the “standard” one in his or her mind through dialogue. If the students realize this, they are likely to guess what the instructor wants to hear instead of thinking independently. Secondly, I think dialogue-based approach may be good for a teacher with rich experience, who is highly respected by students and has good control of the classroom and conversation. While a beginner instructor may need to take this approach with caution. Why it can be a problem? Critical thinking is very appreciated in academia. However, in some cases, people criticize other’s work not for the sake of pursuing truth but to show off themselves. For instance, some reviewers make every effort to criticize their assigned papers without providing any constructive comments. In a seminar, some “critical” participants focus on a few limitations of that study to show how smart they are, and make the presentation hard to continue. The same problem may happen in classroom. Therefore, instructors should be careful to develop a collaborative and respectful environment—a safety zone for critical thinking to grow.

Authoritarian pedagogy

Wikipedia defines authoritarianism as a form of government that is described by strong central power and limited political freedom. According to Freire, in authoritarian pedagogy, teaching was to deposits of information into the minds of the learners, which is similar to deposit money in a bank account or “banking education” and the identity of learners was not taken into account. The situation of learners and teachers is relatively fixed. Power is held by the teachers. The role of learners is to learn what is taught, memorize the information, and can produce the same information on exams. There is little room for deviation or questioning. This model of education places learners into a passive position and the learning process depends upon the teachers. The interests of students as well as the meaning of given information are negligible in authoritarian pedagogy. I read somewhere a nice comparison that learners in authoritarian pedagogy are seen as a blank paper to be written on rather than a book written in invisible ink that just needs the right light shone onto.

Freire argued that the goal of authoritarian pedagogy is to condition learners to accept the cultural, social, political status quo of the dominant culture, to view the practices and behaviors of the dominant groups as complete, whole, and correct, which prevent learners from knowing the world and seeing it as something which can be changed. Therefore, it limits the liberation and freedom of the oppressed.

In my own experiences, I can name some examples of an authoritarian education model. Students from every single school from remote areas to big cities are required to use one set of course books, whose content is pre-prescribed by the ministry of education. There is a fixed schedule (including which class to take, when to take it, how many hours per week) that the ministry of education has designed for students from elementary to colleges. Every student follows the same schedule despite their interests. Teachers often ask students to perform in certain ways (using method A for problem A, do not use method B, even the results are the same) and they might get angry if students do not follow their directions. Grades and punishments are announced publicly not only in schools but also in the students’ living community. When I was a kid, my teachers were my worse fear than my mom.

3/22 – Critical Pedagogy

pointing+hand+vintage+image+graphicsfairy2Paulo Freire distinguishes between the banking education and problem-education. He says: “Banking education … attempts, by mythicizing reality, to conceal certain facts which explain the way human beings exist in the world; problem-posing education sets itself the task of demythologizing. Banking education resists dialogue; problem-posing education regards dialogue as indispensable to the act of cognition which unveils reality. Banking education treats students as objects of assistance; problem-posing education makes them critical thinkers. Banking education inhibits creativity and domesticates (although it cannot completely destroy) the intentionality of consciousness by isolating consciousness from the world, thereby denying people their ontological and historical vocation of becoming more fully human. Problem-posing education bases itself on creativity and stimulates true reflection and action upon reality, thereby responding to the vocation of persons as beings only when engaged in inquiry and creative transformation. In sum: banking theory and practice, as immobilizing and fixating forces, fail to acknowledge men and women as historical beings; problem-posing theory and practice take the people’s historicity as their starting point.” Freire is relentlessly critical of banking education, and this is problematic. Allow me to explain. Imagine a young child, a toddler. A toddler, as the name implies, is learning how to perambulate, how to make their way in the world. At around the same age, they are also learning how to talk. One might wonder: what form of education is most conducive to language acquisition? Those that have served their time in the toddler trenches know that language acquisition is largely the result of training. “This is red.” “That is a tree.” “No, that is a leaf, not a tree.” “This is a tree.” These god-like proclamations are often accompanied by an ostension, that is, pointing a finger at the christened object. Training is necessary because as everyone knows, ostensive definition is inherently ambiguous; for how can the child know that “red” refers to the color of the object and not the shape or the name of the object itself? It is only by training that a child comes to distinguish colors from shapes and both of these properties from objects. What type of education does this more closely resemble: banking or problem-posing? Despite my sincere admiration for Freire’s polemic, I would have to say, banking; and contrary to what Freire argues, this isn’t a bad thing! Without language, the world would be, to quote William James, just a “blooming, buzzing, confusion.” In more academically rigorous jargon, nothing would be phenomenologically available. Without language, without the ability to distinguish one thing from another, we simply don’t have anything resembling a word. However, when parents decide to teach their offspring how to speak, they are indoctrinating them. Even before they are born, as Althusser has observed, they are interpolated, that is, named. Moreover, it is through language that we conceptualize the world – change the language and you change the world. Problem-posing education is extremely valuable for the creation of critical humans, however, it’s important to recognize that this kind of learning is logically contingent and ancillary to banking education. Heidegger once noted that we don’t speak language, language speaks us. Consider what would transpire, if parents suddenly ceased to train their children to use language? When we acquire a language, we, by and large, acquire a conceptual apparatus that we never question. Indeed, critical inquiry stops here. pointing+hand+vintage+image+graphicsfairy1    

Against the Neocons: Industrial Knowledge Production and the New Workforce

I start every semester, regardless of the class I’m facilitating with an announcement. The reason I teach is to help produce people capable of handling the responsibilities of democratic citizenship. Democracy is based on notions of self-rule, the citizen as the reservoir of sovereignty, and egalitarian principles of equality balanced by liberty. Citizens must be capable of critically reflecting on their environment (informational, social, political, cultural, and etc.,.) in order to flesh out demands ideally reflective of their desires that then populate a deliberative process aimed at creating a community bound by the rule of law. The deliberative process is critical in creating a just society and is an extension of the deliberative capacities of  the parties involved. The United States has a long history of excluding groups from the deliberative arena. Some tactics have been a denial of voting rights, Jim Crow voting regulations, poll taxes, exclusive spaces in which political discussions took place, and the regulation and control of education. The most recent example of the latter is a discourse advanced by the American right that higher education should be responsible for workforce training and only workforce training as the country transitions into the new informational economy. The information economy requires knowledge workers – people who are technically trained in producing and handling information products such as patents, and infrastructural technicians who can further and optimize the expanding technical infrastructure necessary for the dissemination and de-centralized production of knowledge products. Subsequently, this shift from the industrial production of physical products (such as cars) to the industrial production of knowledge products requires an expansion of higher education and an influx of students who will serve in emerging industries associated with knowledge production. The millennial generation is now the most highly educated (in terms of years spent in formal education) generation in US history because of the demands for knowledge workers in the new economy. This scares the hell out of top ranking neoconservatives. The neocon ideology emerged out of the tumultuous student demonstrations of the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Many of it’s founding members, such as Irving Kristol, were disturbed by the flurry of student action resisting the Vietnam War. The US “defeat” in Vietnam was not determined by personnel losses or even tactical military mistakes but by a defeat suffered at home. Vietnam Syndrome  as a fear, has haunted neoconservative circles since the realization that the US suffered its first major military loss since the war of 1812 because the American public was not willing to engage in strong, imperial military interventionism. Lefty-commie sympathizers bore the blame for spreading seditious ideology through university campuses that mobilized students to fight against the imperial ambitions of hawkish politicians, and for the civil rights of African-Americans and women. The memory of the defeat at home has had such lingering effects that George H.W. Bush, at the threshold of the first Gulf War assured his audience that “this will not be another Vietnam.” Bush spoke to both the neocon architects of that war and to an American public who had since seen no direct military commitment against a foreign nation apart from the discourse of Reagan’s “War on Drugs” and the subsequent campaigns against Colombia, Nicaragua and Chile. Between Vietnam and the Gulf War neoconservative ideology hit its stride and crystallized from diffuse network of like-minded scholars, to a fully articulated and politically enfranchised movement. Neoconservative thinkers founded think-tanks and educational apparatuses parallel to places of higher learning while also assuming positions within prestigious private universities.  Leo Strauss is one of the more enigmatic contributors to neoconservative ideology and helped train cadre after cadre of powerful apparatchiks who advanced neoconservative agendas through the Republican party (Paul Wolfowitz being one of his more illustrious students). Part of the neoconservative ideology calls for the training of elite, well-to-do young men in the fine arts of government while harboring a general distrust for mass political enfranchisement. Part of the necon mission is to guide the nation in a paternalistic (ideally benevolent) fashion that molds both economy and civic morality. Above all, the public are not to be informed of matters of state, especially foreign policy, unless absolutely necessary for maintaining social control. The wisdom of the neoconservative disciple is derived from their specialization in the higher truths of government through a robust liberal arts education while supported through elite networks that assure their seat at the table. Elitism is a foundational element of neoconservative thought. In a rare slip-up, the Texas Republican party announced in 2012 that critical thinking should not be included within the public school curriculum. More recently, GOP lawmakers have linked higher education to a discourse of workforce development while pundits, activists and talking heads have repeatedly attacked higher education as fake and universities as controlled by social justice warriors who indoctrinate students under the guise of offering an education. Vocational training has become part of the discourse around higher education as the nation looks to universities for the American dream of upward social mobility. This discursive shift has deep affinities with neoconservative ideology as workforce training narrowly focuses the mission of higher education away from producing democratic citizens broadly educated in the liberal arts to a labor market demanding specialized workers capable of producing and sustaining industrialized knowledge production.  Shifts away from producing democratic citizens capable of critically handling information to workers capable of handling critical information furthers the neocon ideological project by industrializing the production of human capital almost exclusively concerned with competing in a labor market. University doors are now things one passes through to receive workforce accreditation and the educational process has been trivialized as a credentialing performance. Viewing education merely as something one goes through on the way to a job harms the body politic as easily quantifiable markers dominate administrative metrics of student success and return on investment. Uni-dimensional visions of what a “successful” student is reinforce the banking theory of education as measurement is dominated by GPA and post-graduation income. The banking theory of pedagogy offers an easy view of the student as an empty vessel receptive to knowledge rather than an active participant in its construction. The construction of knowledge requires a critical and innovative handling of information similar to the ideal deliberative process of mass democracy. The environment that conditions the demands placed on higher education, with its narrow focus on productivity and immediate workplace application of technical skills, myopically defines knowledge in terms of usefulness to a given industrial purpose. Industrial interests and trends within markets thus direct the development and dissemination of knowledge without recognizing the democratic potential of education in the fullest sense of fostering the development of citizens. Freire’s recognition that the banking theory reinforces an existing and unquestioned ontology of knowledge about the relationship of knower to known is repeated in the discourse of workforce training and higher education as the student is alienated further from the process of handling information. The relationships of student-to-teacher, teacher-to-information and information-to-student within the banking model impose an understanding of how to handle information that casts the student as receiver and teacher as transmitter. The call and response evaluative metrics of standardized testing and closed right-and-wrong questions frame information as dead and in need of careful preservation thus promoting an inflexible relationship between the student and knowledge. Credentialing grounded in rote memorization of facts echos industrial applications of knowledge in terms of problem-and-answer mentalities that rarely question the system in which the problem arises. The uni-dimensional view of education advanced by the banking theory promotes neither innovative thinking about technical problems, nor advanced critical thinking about the broader informational ecology of democratic society.  As the US transitions from an industrial economy to modes of decentralized industrial knowledge production, we cannot sacrifice the democratic identity of higher education for the uni-dimensional mentality of the market. The banking theory of pedagogy must be dispensed with – even if it upsets the apple cart of some still stuck in mentalities of centralized industrial society. Above all, we must worry about what a society populated by automota that serve only their machines can become when democratic identity is lost.
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