The Problem with “Common Sense”


According to common sense, being a good student is to not challenge your view of the world in a learning environment. That a student is meant to think and act in specific ways; and if they regurgitate what the teacher has said and what they are told to read, they will do well on exams. Kumashiro referred to this as “meeting standards.” This does not allow any critical thinking or reflection of the individual. Not only that, what the students are being taught in school is the “common sense” view that supports a socially constructed society which supports the white, heteronormative, able bodied person.  As stated in Chapter 2, Kumashiro talks about how this environment is not learning at all. It makes it impossible to see the oppression and inequities that we are not only being taught in school, but what we have learned outside of school. It proposes that the “common sense” view is the only view that really matters and continues to allow the student to remain sedentary, if you will, in their “knowledge” base, which only continues to perpetuate the stereotypes and view that differences are a negative thing.

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2 thoughts on “The Problem with “Common Sense”

  1. Hi Alicia, I would first like to start by applauding you for giving such a concise blog post and answering the questions in a timely matter! Something I need to work on myself! I would like to hear more of your opinion on how this affects the children who do not fit the “good” student perspective. Overall wonderful blog post!


  2. Thanks, Sydney. I believe this affects children who do not fit the mold of a “good” student negatively because they will always feel out of place. I can totally relate to this because I was one of those students. Although I am white, heterosexual and come from a lower-middle-class family, I always struggled in school because I was dealing with depression (undiagnosed at the time) and the way the school dealt with it was by separating me from the rest of the class and putting me in a room by myself with a learning resource teacher. In fact, what had happened was they had a psychologist come in and test me and the scores came back as “borderline intellectually disabled”.. which is still listed on my records today. They did not put into account that I could be dealing with any mental health concerns. The reason I did so poorly on those exams is because I did not care about school. I did not care about anything at the time because I was dealing with major depressive order for most of my life, but was not diagnosed until I was 25 years old. Fast forward 15 years later and while I am meeting with a student accessibility advisor at the U of R, she books an appointment with me to meet with a psychologist regarding some problems I was having with being easily distracted in class and problems focusing. The psychologist tested me and all of my scores came back as average and above average. She was shocked, because she had seen the test scores from high school that said I am borderline intellectually disabled. Unfortunately, because of that one test in high school, I was automatically excluded from the rest of my classmates and felt completely out of place. It negatively affected me to the point where I dropped out of high school.

    I hope a bit of my personal experience gives you some insight into what I was talking about in the blog post.
    Thanks for reading!


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