What is Commonsense?

How does Kumashiro define ‘commonsense”?

Kumashiro defines commonsense as something we should all know or an obvious practices that gives members in that community a type of knowledge that is normalized. He referees to the term commonsense while describing the structure of daily life and schools system in Nepal. By comparing his own knowledge and experience, or “American way” Kumashiro was allowed to analysis his own perspective of his teaching practices from the contrast of the practices done in Nepal.

Why is it so important to pay attention to the ‘commonsense’?

I think it is important to pay attention to commonsense because if it is a type of knowledge normalized in a community and depending on how long this information has been around it can carry outdated normalcy of daily life, school systems, … and of course the oppression of certain groups of people ( including; sexism, racism, classism, heteroism, colonialism, etc).

For example at one point segregation was commonsense to communities of the past and that has changed. There are still forms of segregation in today’s society in a more discrete systematic approach and many people do not recognize the layer, or privilege of what has become commonsense. Obviously, many of these “ism” still exist in one form or another, but as a society I strongly believe that we are trying to move forward and away from those forms of oppression.

Ideals are consistently changing in communities everyday and whether or not these ideals are going to solve the problems of the past, or be revolutionary thoughts for the future. We don’t know and that is okay, but the point is that we challenge our perspective in our daily lives. Change is going happen its just a matter of time and just because something is supposed to be commonsense does not make it right, or correct.

Introduction. The problem of common sense (Kumashiro. (2009). Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning Toward Social Justice, pp. XXIX – XLI)



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