Okay, in all honesty though, what is common sense? In reading the Introduction of ‘Against Common Sense’, Kevin Kumashiro opens with a broad definition of common sense and that it was “what everyone should know”.
“Of course this makes sense” I thought. But as I continued to read Kumashiro’s diverse look into common sense, I realized that not every person in the human race knows what another person knows. What may seem like common knowledge for one person may not seem the same for another. One small example of this occurred when I first moved to the queen city. I had taken the city transit for the first time and I did not know about the ‘transfer’ option for switching busses. When I became flustered over this fact, a lady next to me mumbled something along the lines of “oh come on, everyone knows that”.
But I didn’t. And that’s when I started to become more aware of what is considered common sense to me and what it is to others. As I enter the classroom, I want to be careful of these assumptions that I may create in my carefully planned environment. In order to do this, I want to try to follow the four steps to anti-oppressive education that Kumashiro talks about in his book (which can be purchased here, if interested). I know that many classrooms are filled with hidden oppressions through common sense and, as a future educator, I want to try to avoid this.
As Kumashiro states on page XL, “change is possible”.