The Painter Article

This article was terribly surprising. I am very naive and generally like to think that the world is a wonderful place full of sugar, spice, and everything nice. However, deep down I know that the world just doesn’t operate like that. The author of this piece is so ill-informed and truly only knows the common sense of their particular place and time. This became obvious to me when they addressed places such as China and India in the latter half of the reading. There were also many references to the natural order of humans and the way we are placed and what roles we should follow. It was unnerving to read that. The author states that in order to be a good person you need to follow the noblehood, rightful education, and Christ. There is little consideration for any other variants of how to live. This piece infuriated me. They not only make harsh comments about people of different religion, they also bring down women and those that take more time to learn. This author’s view of race is: a distinct line that divides people of different cultural backgrounds and skin shades. It is obvious that the author doesn’t see everyone as equal. At one point he even states “the form of civilization has been low, education has been narrow and defective. Uncivilized communities do scarcely more than strengthen the body and cultivate the sense”. This quotation was a direct reference about other cultures in this piece. On the fifth page he actually mentions the word ‘race’ and uses it in a sense that ‘our race’ has to work our way through every state in the maturing process. It seems that he is just referring to certain people. This author has a poor attitude and makes so many hurtful comments about cultures that function in different ways and most of the information they provided was just preconceived stereotypes and inaccurate. It was almost laughable to read the end bits and see how uninformed this person was. If teachers taught like this, then education would be so narrow and one sided. Students wouldn’t learn much and wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience other points of view. Teachers who taught students like this would be oppressing them and passing these thoughts on to them to form another deceived generation. These teachers would also create divides in the classroom and possibly would favor some students over others. This is not how a classroom should function. I am so glad that I have the ability to freely learn about others and would hope I don’t see this sort of profiling in my classroom.

Think about / write (obviously not long) about these ideas: Kumashiro’s idea of the commonsense is helpful here. Where do you see commonsense at work in the definitions? Especially in the first link, list some of the ways that commonsense might be connected to how we can define curriculum.

The definition on anti-oppressive education seems almost correct at first. As the reader explores further into the about section, things get a bit alarming. They author makes it seem like it is some impossibly large commitment to teach and learn in an anti-oppressive environment. They even go as far as saying that this is a consequence. This author really puts a negative spin on their world choice. However, I really enjoy parts of the last paragraph. The author discusses this idea of ‘banking’ ideas. Students only learn what the teacher gives them and they don’t look beyond that confine. They are taking the teachers ideas and turning them into common sense. This can be especially true in an English class. If the educator offers up one interpretation of the text, the students will often try to regurgitate those same statements. They do not learn the skills to think critically and with an open mind. That will lead them into that ‘commonsense’ cycle we are trying to break. If students don’t intervene and take charge of their lives, then the oppressive society will remain dominant. This is something that gives teachers the opportunity to learn some new skills and help the students develop independent thoughts in the classroom.

The social justice hyperlink is very strange. They very first sentence is saying that by teaching for social justice, we are oppressing the students. It is saying that we are still pushing our values on them. To me, this makes it seem like an educator can never step out of that oppressive role. That being said, teachers are also limited by the curriculum. It is a guiding document that is free in some instances but also one sided. It offers up themes, materials, and strategies that teacher are almost always expected to follow. They are to teach what has been decided as a proper curriculum. However, this can really limit the options for branching out and being non-oppressive. We teach what we think is relevant to the people in that particular space. This leaves little room for being open minded and truly exploring other people’s interests outside of that tight box. These are very interesting terms and food for thought that I would like to hear more on.

Common Sense Defined

Every person in the world lives by some form of common sense. No one is to blame for this occurrence, because it is part of being nurtured. Year after year we are taught certain traits, skills, and norms that define the space that we are present in. These behaviors and thoughts lead to preconceived notions that everyone is supposed to understand what we view as common sense. People don’t think or question these norms, because we learned them at such a young age. However, it is important to recognize that these norms are only relevant to certain people in certain spaces and at certain times. If we leave our minds closed to new information, we risk pushing our beliefs onto someone else and oppressing things that they cherish and know.