Be Aware of Common Sense

In this article, Kumashiro talks about his experience teaching in Nepal. He says that the teachers and students in Nepal have a clear idea of what teaching and learning means to them. Kumashiro’s common sense that is comprised of his beliefs/methods and perspectives about teaching and learning often did not make sense to the Nepal teachers and students, as it was very different than theirs.

Kumashiro believes that common sense is defined as, things we have come to know and have been taught through our culture, experiences in life, beliefs, values, etc. According to Kumashiro, it is important to be aware of the beliefs one personally holds, and to challenge ourselves to be open to the new experiences/beliefs that our students and colleagues hold.

Kumashiro states that we must “look beyond” what and how we teach. However, this does not mean we reject every approach or create a new approach for everything. However, we should keep questioning our approaches and examine how the things we teach are affecting our learners.  In turn, we then should strive to make positive changes to create an anti-oppressive classroom and ensure that the methods being used meet the outcomes in the curriculum (Kumashiro, p. xxxix-xl).

As a future teacher, I need to continually remind myself of my personal, unconscious beliefs/common sense and that challenging these beliefs will contribute to my growth as a teacher as well as provide richer learning opportunities for my students.

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