Common Sense Not so Common

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Photo Credit: greekadman via Compfight cc

 In response to the writing prompt:

“How does Kumashiro define ‘commonsense’. Why is it so important to pay attention to the ‘common sense’?”

Kumashiro has a very interesting background that has given him insight to knowledge he may not have found otherwise. Kumashiro suggests the idea that common sense isn’t as well known as what was previously thought. Kumashiro defines ‘common sense’  as something a specific group of people have known, believed, and/or followed for a long enough period of time that it just becomes the norm. What a certain group or region of people may think is common sense may not be common sense to others. Because everyone’s idea of common sense will be different, it’s important to pay attention to everyone’s opinion especially involving education. Some students may be left behind because they didn’t have the knowledge the teacher thought was common sense. A life experience that helps me relate to this topic is when I was doing a Quebec/Saskatchewan student exchange program. The girl from Quebec I was paired with had a conversation with me about how their schools run. When I had found out Quebec’s school system did not include a Grade 12 year, but is replaced with CEGEP which is an in between year between high school and Post Secondary. I had made the comment “that’s weird”, for which she replied, “it’s not weird, it’s just different”. Relating this to Kumashiro and his ideologies on ‘common sense’, I understand that what I viewed as common sense and common knowledge was not the same as my Quebec exchange student. We lived in the same country and yet still had different opinions on common sense and what was our norm. This experience, along with this reading, has helped me as a teacher to reflect on my practices and remind myself to consider that my idea of common sense might not be as common for my students.

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