This post is in relation to my previous post on race.
In class, we were asked to go on this website and “sort people” according to the race we believed them to be. For me, while doing this, it put into perspective the different stereotypes we have for people and how easily we assume things. I also found it difficult doing this with a partner because I would want to put a person in a category but slightly held back because I felt awkward telling the other person my assumption.
Is it better to get most of them right or most of them wrong? I really do not know the answer to that right now but I do suggest that you try it out.
I was not really surprised by what was said in Painter’s “A History of Education” (1886) due to the year it was written. Back then, race was something that was talked about freely and mostly in a negative context…unless, of course, you were discussing someone that was white.
It is good to know that this kind of information is no longer in the textbooks that future teachers are learning from. Textbooks like this taught teachers to become biased with their students and now it is society that is furthering/creating the stereotypes and biases. It is important to put these stereotypes aside, especially as a teacher, and to teach every student equitably so that they all have a chance to get a good education.
Kumashiro views common sense to be as what should be known rather than what could be known in a society. He views it as what is “normal” to a certain society and that different groups of people around the world will have a different idea as to what constitutes as common sense. An idea of something being common sense may seem completely wrong from one society to another.
It is important to pay attention to common sense because of the fact that it differs across societies. This can create confusion between teachers and students, especially if they are not from our “immediate” society. Because we are so used to our specific norms, it makes it difficult for us to try new things and consider the fact that there may be other ways to doing things. “Changing things up” could also create problems as people in our society may think that you are doing things all wrong.
Common sense no longer seems like common sense to me anymore. It seems like there is more behind it that needs to be learned… even if it’s all just something we should know.
Kumashiro,K.K. (2009). Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning Toward Social Justice. New York, NY: Routledge.