In the book Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning Toward Social Justice, the author Kevin Kumashiro wants teachers to look beyond ‘common sense’ and take action to make changes in teaching and educating students. He defines common sense as particular things that everyone should know or understand. In relation to education, the standardized curriculum can become part of our common sense as teachers, and inhibits us  from expanding our knowledge outside of our comfort zones to teach more effectively by introducing new practices and experiences for students.

It is important to pay attention to common sense because it can determine how we teach as educators. The common sense of each individual, school or culture varies greatly, and as teachers it can be difficult to adapt to this diversity. Some people believe that we should stick to the ‘common sense’ in schools that we know, as we have traditionally done for numerous years. People argue that if we go beyond the ‘common sense’ we will become confused and ignored. Kumashiro, however, speaks his message of going against common sense. “Common sense often makes it easy to continue teaching and learning in ways that allow the oppressions already in play to continue to play out unchallenged in our schools and society” (Kumashiro, 2009, XXXVI). Instead of allowing common sense to shape our curriculum that we teach, we should instead challenge it for the better of ourselves as teachers and for our students.

{   Kumashiro, K. (2009). Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning Toward Social Justice. New York, NY; Routledge.  }

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