Questioning Common Sense

Kumashiro begins the article by recounting his experience as a volunteer teacher in Nepal. He describes the differences in “common sense” between his experiences in the United States and what is practiced in Nepal, both in daily life and education. Upon initial reflection, Kumashiro defines this concept as the ideas and practices considered as common sense in the United States. After witnessing the obvious differences in what is considered as common sense in the United States and in Nepal, Kumashiro begins to question and alter his initial definition of the concept. What he ultimately concludes is that common sense varies in different parts of the world. What is considered as common sense in one part may completely challenge what is considered as common sense in another part. Furthermore, Kumashiro emphasizes that various definitions of common sense work to advantage certain groups while oppressing others. His article explains why as students and educators, we do not often challenge our idea of common sense. It is crucial , however, for us as pre-service teachers to challenge our traditional view of “common sense”, especially in the context of education so as to help create equality for all students, regardless of demographic.

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