Kumashiro defines common sense in the classroom as the comfortableness that teachers and students have with the oppression that is included in schools today. Common sense is what the curriculum presents that we as educators and students do not question. Not to question in a negative and confronting way, but to question and find out why I am teaching something. What is the purpose? Is it inclusive for all who are present? Is there any possible way this content is oppressive, and what can I do to change that? To examine what we are teaching and remove oppression from it.
Common sense in education is the schooling that I grew up with. I have always thought that school was done a certain way, and it hasn’t been until entering University that I’ve been prompted to think critically about the “norm” or as Kumashiro says, the common sense of the North American school system. This is such an ongoing process, and not something that I can learn, and then apply and move on. It means that I have to constantly be aware and pay attention to the underlying meanings and impressions given by what I’m teaching and how I’m teaching it. It means that I have to constantly think critically about what I am teaching and asked to do in my future career, as well as challenge other teachers on what they are teaching. I need to hold myself and those around me accountable.
Common sense is different for everybody. As Kumashiro exemplified with his comparison of North American schooling and Nepali schooling. A teacher would be fired in North America if they punished a student with a stick. Canada is a multicultural country, and there will be students in my class that are not privy to the North American common sense of teaching. We should avoid that common sense, and instead teach critically and examine the curriculum and use it in a non-oppressive way.
Anti-oppressive teaching for the win! #ftw