Reading response to Kumashiro’s The Problem of Common Sense

In his book, The Problem of Common Sense, Kumashiro defines common sense as the accepted and understood norm. In reference to education, the common sense way of teaching contributes to oppression in the classroom. Educators must always challenge their views of what is common sense in order to realize when their methods could be oppressive to a certain group of learners. As stated in his introduction, Kumashiro, experienced a shift in what he perceived as common sense when he taught in Nepal. His view of how he “should” be teaching was very different from how his students thought they “should” be learning. Educators are encouraged to empower minority groups to whom common sense education does not apply. According to Kumashiro, this anti-oppressive education is not something that is easy or comfortable to put in to practice. It is important to pay attention to what we believe is common sense and to not let ourselves be complacent and do what has always been done. Striving to re-evaluate what “should” be done will help educators avoid oppressing groups that they may not realize they were.

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