Week 1: Response to “The Problem of Common Sense”
I found Kumashiro’s article to be an incredible tool of enlightenment for both teachers and students. Not only does Kumashiro draw on his experiences of teaching in Nepal, but he contrasts it to the US’s approach. As a result, he criticizes how America utilizes its content and methods practiced in schools, often referring to the term, “common sense”. While reflecting on his time in Nepal, Kumashiro instantly noticed that common sense, regarding lifestyle, greatly differs amongst cultures. More importantly, however, he addresses the impact of common sense on education, stating that it “…limits what is considered to be consistent with the purposes of schooling”. In other words, common sense often dictates what content is permissible in schools, and the ways in which is must be taught. As a result, this leads to the marginalization of certain groups of students, with little or no interference. Before reading this article, one may not have realized the extent of silent oppression in schools, as it takes a vastly passive aggressive form. Due to this, it is vitally important to carefully follow this “common sense”, as its impact is devastatingly harmful. Allowing such oppression to occur ultimately justifies its existence. Thus, future teachers must challenge traditional notions of common sense in order to combat such issues deeply ingrained in the education system.