‘The Problem With Commonsense’ – Response

Kumashiro describes the “common sense” as being what we generally experience, discuss, and conceptualize (XXXI). People do not often question what they consider ‘common sense” because we fall into a routine where we come to expect certain behaviours and ways of doing things. We can also assume that “common sense” can be different between two or more people. This is because it is relative, and it reflects our worldview. Our perspectives, experiences and values within our society are what influences the way we do things and whatever does not fit into these areas we consider to be nonsensical.

Because “common sense” is relative and reflects our worldview, it is important to consider our location when we think about what may or may not be common sense. Some examples provided by Kumashiro were the belief that one does not know how to cook because they did not cook what was common in an area or if you were to wash up at a different time than what was expected. By doing things like this one tends to stand out simply because it is not what is expected in one area even though it might have been the norm in another. We must critique our assumptions on what is “normal” and consider how these ideas might be different from what another sees as being “normal”.

The idea that we need to acknowledge the “common sense” and consider and analyze it is important when it comes to education. For example, there are many ways to be what one student might consider a “good teacher”. This can mean providing many small details in lessons to one student while another could consider a teacher to be “good” based on the amount of examinations they do, and even that can be divided between being few heavily weighted assignments or many assignments weighted a little lighter. Kumashiro also addressed how “common sense” can be oppressive in schools, as well as outside, towards minority groups. This is another reason it is important to recognize the “common sense” and to question it.

1 thought on “‘The Problem With Commonsense’ – Response

  1. Pingback: Response to September 16th Reading – Miss Steele's Education Journey

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