The Problem with ‘Commonsense’, Do you have commonsense?

Kamashiro defines ‘commensense’ as aspects of daily life that have become so routine and so commonplace that they often go unquestioned or criticized. They are accepted as they way things are and they rarely get critiqued. Anyone outside of the commonsense is pressured into conforming and following the commonsensical. Often when one strays from the commonsense, the ideas that contradict and challenge the commonsensical are dismissed or deemed inappropriate. Commonsense tells us that this and only this is what schools should be doing as opposed to telling us that this is what schools simply could be doing. Commonsense causes social pressures of conformity and we would be deemed as abnormal, senseless, or counterproductive if we didn’t follow these patterns.

Using our ‘commonsense’ is what creates bias and privilege for some and yet not for others. It is was forms a hierarchy in today’s society. It determines and solidifies who holds the power over whom. What is it that makes the United States belive/think that their learning and educational techniques are more advanced and privileged than the Nepali school system? This reading made me think of how I when entering the ESCI 302 classroom last semester with Audrey Aamodt. She made question my educational background and my beliefs about how things are taught/should be taught in schools. She forced me out of my comfort zone and static state of mind regarding how I need to learn things and be structured within the classroom. The fact that I am a very science minded thinker and feel as though I learn the best in more of a Nepali frame of teaching, made her class an extreme challenge for myself. It was hard for me to show creativity to that extent, to not have a textbook, to not have examinations, and to not just sit and listen to a typical lecture like I was accustomed to. In turn, we as students taught each other and she was almost more like one of our peers/classmates that lead and guided us in the direction that the curriculum intended for us. Her class, to me, was exactly what this introduction is saying that we need to do with the education system. We must test it and examine it and question it just like Audrey made me do with the ESCI class and my own education in general. I realize now just how constricting my educational history has been for me. I realize how much I struggle with creativity and higher order thinking as a result of the education that I received. My mind has been so accustomed to simply reading, memorizing, testing and then forgetting the material. I find that I have an insanely terrible memory for everyday life and events. I wonder if my scientific frame of mind is to blame for this. My brain is so accustomed to throwing the material away once I am done with it. I only learn and remember thing for a short amount of time just so that I can get through a test and get a desired mark and then the information becomes useless. This should be analyzed and questioned.

The topic of anti oppressive education forces me to reflect on my life. It makes me wonder where my privileges lie. What opportunities have I had in my life due to the color of my skin, my religion, my gender, or my socioeconomic status?


One thought on “The Problem with ‘Commonsense’, Do you have commonsense?

  1. Wow, I loved this post! Thank you for your insight into this topic. I relate very strongly to what you wrote. I am taking Audrey’s ESCI class right now and I too, feel as you did. I feel that I lack creativity as well as have a terribly poor memory. I liked the connection you made to the commonsensical ways of schooling instruction and perhaps the reasoning for our poor memories and lack of creative thought. Great blog post!
    Jocelyn 🙂


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