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Response to "Against Common Sense"

David White's picture

I like how the introduction to the book consists of Kumashiro's experiences working in Nepal as part of the Peace Corp.  It felt like he wasn't trying to show off to his readers, more so trying to show the differences between what he thought was "good" education, and what Nepal students thought was "good" education.  However what I was really interested in was Kumashiro's idea of crisis, and what happens when a student experiences it.  I like the idea of instructing teachers in how to help students navigate crisis.  Everyday we experience "crisis" or how Kumashiro would explain it, "a state of emotional discomfort and disorientation that calls on students to make some change"  Outside the classroom we don't have people watching over us, instructed to be in charge of us.  However in a classroom setting, there are teachers, so why not teach teachers how to handle when their students do encounter an educational crisis?

I'd also like to bring James Donald in on this too.  I think he would like the idea of Kumashiro's crisis.  Ellsworth writes about Donald, saying that Donald argues that "the space between curriculum and student understand 'is characterized by oscillation, slippage, and unpredictable transformations.'"  Donald's and Ellsworth's gap between the curriculum and the students' understanding can also be described as Kumashiro's idea of the crises that students experience.  It's a specific type of crisis that teachers are looking for, one that causes students to feel that they are missing a key piece of information in order for them to fully understand.  This sense of missing something is then suppossed to instil deeper critical thinking and growth.  I'm not sure where my connection is going, or if there is any....