Common sense tells the “good” and “perfect” student to sit and do what they’re told without questioning anything. They are essentially the empty bucket to be filled with information of the teacher’s choosing. This is the student that I was when I was younger, and at the time it was the student I strove to be. I wanted to do what the teacher told me to, and do it well. I was part of the privileged group of students because I lived in an environment that made it easy for me to be that “good” student. I lived in a middle class family that allowed me to have a relatively easy childhood with plenty of food, lots of sleep, and time for homework.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with the fact that I wanted to be the common sense student, because that is what was expected of me back then. I do wish, however, that I would have been prompted to get an opinion, and be passionate about something! I was a quiet student and generally did what I was told, and didn’t have much of a challenging point of view. Because of that, as an adult I have had to flounder to find my voice and opinions. Now I believe expectations of students and teachers are changing. What we’re learning in this class is challenging us to avoid the common sense definition that we all have of what school is. As teachers, we are being encouraged to foster our students to engage and think critically of content instead of just memorize it.
I think being an educator who actually helps students to find their opinion and voice will have a part in creating a society that thinks deeper than the surface level about problems, and will create a better society to live in.