A “good” student, according to the commonsense article, starts with a classroom where the teacher is in control. There is an incredible amount of pressure from schools and society to produce a certain kind of student. Our commonsense model looks a little like identifying what we want the students to know at certain times through the curriculum, standardized exams and pre-chosen readings. “Good” students are well behaved, listen and follow instructions, thinking specific ways, and do not voice criticisms of their teachers. The privileged students are students that are capable of learning in a traditional classroom. A “good” student listens to wells to the teacher and does not have to be asked more than once to follow instructions. Teachers think that their students should not get distracted and sit still at their desks while they are getting taught to or doing their work. This view only relates to the students in (usually) the higher social classes and those who can learn in this strict, conforming way, which is potentially only a select handful of our potential students.
I believe that these commonsense ideas make it impossible for students that cannot work in a traditional classroom. The education system is failing these students. Children should be allowed the freedom to learn in a way that best suits them to seek their best knowledge. There are different ways that individuals can interpret lessons, and different ways of communication does not always mean misbehaviour.
A classroom should provide learning for every student’s needs, even if it isn’t the easy way of teaching. I know this is a bold statement. I do not personally know how to make this possible. With only two small classroom placements in my experience, I know that I lack knowledge that could lead me to make a more informed opinion on this idea.
As future educators, if we only look at our students with the commonsense lens, we will miss out on so much of our students and their potentials. We need to see the diversity of our students, and see what they are capable of achieving. It is essential to understand where our students are coming from and try to provide teaching that fits their needs.
This post is written based on the following articles: