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By Kevin Kumashiro

Drawing on his personal event educating varied grades and topics, Kevin Kumashiro examines points of educating and studying towards social justice, and indicates concrete implications for K-12 academics and instructor educators.

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Additional info for Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning Toward Social Justice (Reconstrucing the Public Sphere in Curriculum Studies)

Sample text

Like the student in the top diagram, this one entered school in September with little knowledge and skills. However, the school was filled with knowledge of subject matter as well as teaching strategies that enabled the student to acquire new knowledge and skills. The result was a student satisfied with having learned something new, or at least with having learned what the school was supposed to have taught. According to this view, educated students were those who ended the school year with more than they began, and effective teachers were those who helped fill students’ minds.

No kidding. When I said that I felt as though I still had a lot to learn about teaching, she suggested that I think about why I became so upset. What was I expecting from M, and what was M telling me in return? I realized that M became a different kind of student during less structured class time. When not required to conform to an art lesson, M would hunch over with crayons in hand, deep in concentration, to produce a piece of art to give to me. When not required to listen passively to a lecture, M would pull me aside and ask me questions about the museum exhibit.

Of course, not everything that the student already learned was problematic, but much of this knowledge had been culled together from the cultural myths, stereotypes, and taken-for-granted assumptions that permeated daily life. In particular, much of what the student already learned consisted of the ideas that have, thus far, helped the student to make sense of who the student was and to navigate the world in which the student lived, including ideas of what was normal or good, or what it meant to be happy or to belong.

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