Common Sense

Kumashiro defined ‘common sense’ by referring it to what everyone already or should already know. In this particular context it is dealing with the curriculum and school settings; how different cultures behave, learn and expect education to be taught. He then states how this status quo is oppressive, meaning their ‘common sense’ is also oppressive to the new cultures entering this status quo.


Connection: During one of my field experiences I had a new student who recently moved from Malaysia. He knew absolutely no English, did not behave the same as the other students, his dress for school was different and he really struggled understanding out numerical system. He was being himself in our status quo which made him stick out and look ‘different’ or for the other students to think what he was doing was potentially wrong. However, that common sense was ours, not his. If we all took a class trip to his home town in Malaysia their common sense would force them to look at us differently as well. Neither of our ways was incorrect, but if we stick to one status quo we are potentially being oppressive to those around us whose common sense varies.

3 thoughts on “Common Sense

  1. Definitely had a similar experience in one of my fields. A class trip’s probably out of the question, but maybe studying other cultures would help students understand a little better that there common sense isn’t always right.

  2. Also had a similar experience with a summer camp that I worked at this past summer. We had a student that was from the Philippines and it was amazing how different she conducted herself. While this is a different scenario than a classroom it still displayed how widespread common sense is based on your geographical location.

  3. There have even been situations where I feel like I have been the one who sticks out like a sore thumb. And even I changed the way I was acting/looked to conform to the ways of everyone else. It is not a good feeling. No one should feel this way.

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