What does it mean to be a "good" student according to the commonsense? Which students are privileged by this definition of the good student? What is made impossible to see/understand/believe because of these commonsense ideas?
Being a good student, according to common sense, is repeating exactly what teachers have taught the students so that students learn what they’re supposed to, according to the formal curriculum, such as,
“what books students need to read, how many and what types of essays they need to write, what vocabulary words they need to memorize, and the for final exam, what themes from the books they needed to understand and be able to develop in short essays” (Kumashiro, 2004, pg. 19).
Commonsense does not allow students an opportunity to express their own opinion in class or on exams. The learning experience does not seem like an experience or learning journey, because it is not up to the student to decide their learning journey. The “good” students agree with the teacher and recite back the lecture that the student has just heard instead of challenging what the teacher teaches. This same student may also be a “good” student because of their ability to write exams well, leading to good marks. This does not require extra effort from the teacher to accommodate to the good students because they do not have varying needs, so the teacher likes the 'good' student. This leads to a very simple and fixed way of testing students which separates good and bad students based on those that do well on tests.
The good students benefits from the definition of a good student; the standard ways of teaching/assessing works for that student and they can strive with the commonsense ideas. Therefore, the traditional educational system favours these students, so they will succeed. The teacher can give traditional work and exams for the “good” student, with promising results. With less difference in thoughts and more uniformity among students, the teacher is put at ease and the traditional system can remain the same and commonsense does not have to change. The students that are not familiar with the local commonsense of what is a good student will not benefit, no matter what the commonsense is.
It is impossible, with commonsense ideas of the 'good' student, for students to have their own opinions and thoughts separate from what they are told in classrooms and required to write down on exams. This eliminates an individual approach to education and sticks to a traditional system of the ‘good’ student. In addition, the commonsensical 'good' student does not allow for questioning what we learn in school, therefore, it is impossible to understand how school is related to real life. If students learn something in school they assume it’s factual and truthful, which may not allow them to be open-minded towards others’ views that may differ from the traditional system. For example, encouraging a certain type of 'good' student. Within commonsense that is decided by society and implemented in the school systems, we often do not see what messages the curriculum is sending to students by including/excluding ideas as commonsense.
Kumashiro, K. (2004). Preparing Teachers for Crisis: What It Means to Be a Student. In Against Common Sense, (pp. 19 – 33). Retrieved from http://lib.myilibrary.com.libproxy.uregina.ca:2048/Open.aspx?id=10708&loc=17