Week 1

Kumashiro defines common sense as mindset that can differ from person to person, depending on culture, socio-economic status, and many other factors. Common sense is the “background knowledge” that we assume everyone will understand. It is somewhat of an unwritten set of rules. Common sense can become a problem in the classroom when we falsely assume what students understand, or disregard the background students may be coming from. He also links anti-oppressive education to the concept of common sense in the classroom. Kumashiro says that “the problems of common sense call on us to engage in anti-oppressive forms of education, i.e. in forms of education that explicitly work against multiple oppressions”. 

It is very important to pay attention to the idea of ‘common sense” because teachers work in vastly diverse settings, and may not have much background information about the students in their classrooms. Students may come from different cultures, with a different set of “common sense” ideas. If we ignore these ideas, students may not receive lessons in the way we intend. It is important for all teachers to have an anti-oppressive teaching strategy, so that all children can feel included and have equal learning opportunities. The problem of common sense can be seen in all aspects of life. We must try to keep this in mind when interacting with others in every day life.

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