Kumashiro’s chapter three of Against Common Sense is very powerful and allows readers to deeply think about what it means to teach. As teachers, we should always expect that there is more to learn and more to understand than what we intend. However, people often teach based on their own knowledge and understanding. Therefore, every person has a different perspective or outlook on the material they are teaching. Kumashiro expresses, “…the goal is not to rid our classroom of harmful hidden lessons and the various lenses students use to make sense of them” (p. 41, Kumashiro). Although we may perceive something in one way, our students may look at the lesson being taught in a different way.

When looking back on my autobiography that I had written, I begin to think about the hidden messages that I left out, such as my gender, race and religious views. I believe that at times, people leave these hidden messages out of their lives for two reasons. The first reason is that people simply do not find these things important, and they believe that they do not influence the person they are as a whole. On the other hand, people may leave these messages out about themselves because they know that others may look at them differently or judge who they are.

 In order to overcome anti-oppressive education, we need to discover the meaning of hidden messages in our teaching. This will allow us to become more aware of possible alternatives to teaching material we would usually shy away from. “Ironically, we need to put front and center the very things we do not want in our teaching, the very things we do not even know are in our teaching” (p. 41, Kumashiro). 

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

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