Re-creating “Common Sense”

(Blog Post One)

What does common sense mean to me, before reading the article? It is the “things”, routines, or ideas that people believe everyone just knows and follows. Kumashiro’s definition of common sense is a little bit different, he believes that common sense is that it is a set of “assumptions, expectations, and values” (p. 2) that “have become so routine and common place that they often go unquestioned” (p. 3). He goes on to explain that common sense does not tell us what could be done, but rather it reinforces what should be done and “often [we] feel social pressure to conform” (p. 4). Kumashiro is challenging future educators in specific, but really any person could take on these challenges, to pay attention to the oppression that occurs with our “common sense”.

I wanted a reminder of what oppression means and Google told me, “prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control; the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control; mental pressure or distress”. This helped me understand the article further when Kumashiro explained how our common sense understandings are leading to oppression of people’s race, gender, religion, and much more. Teachers allow this to happen by ignoring stereotypes, harassment, labeling people, and normalizing any “type” of peoples. Basically our first challenge is addressing the “common sense” ideas that are, and can be, oppressive and then acting upon that through discussing or readdressing the idea.

This is a very interesting article, something I never even thought of before. I especially never thought of how it could be harming others. I have been thinking about my “common sense” that could be oppressive. But I am curious what other people believe are some of their “common sense” ideas? How can you consciously make it “go away” or readdress it to become inviting and respectful to all?  How can we re-create our common senses?