Week 2 – What Does It Mean To Be a Student?

What does it mean to be a “good” student according to the commonsense?

Students are expected to act and behave in specific ways which reflect the expectations of the school system and teacher.  According to common sense, a student’s goal is to fit the mold of a predetermined “end result” of learning established by the school system. If students (especially for younger students) have moments of heightened emotion or energy, these behaviours will be labelled as “acting out” or “misbehaving”. Students are expected to follow along with being told what to learn, how to learn it, and learn the correct way to display/prove what they’ve learned. To be a good student according to common sense, the “best” students learn every text/material that is provided and are able to recognize definitions presented to them. The “best” students use the desired vocabulary and formats that the teachers arrange for them. A “good” student will critique and explore the materials/texts provided in the particular way that they’re instructed to.

Which students are privileged by this definition of the good student?

Students whose out of school experiences revolve around societal “common sense” beliefs and morals. Students who identify with dominant social “status quos” (ethnicity, culture, class, sexual orientation, etc.) and can identify with, and feel comfortable learning the texts and materials in class – If a student is content with the materials being learned in class (it doesn’t go against or confuse their own “common sense” beliefs) they do not feel the need to question or criticize what is being taught, thus, they will more easily be complacent to memorize the definitions, read the books, and write the required essays.

How is the “good” student shaped by historical factors?

The “good” student is shaped by reinforcing times of history. The “good” student was shaped for the needed workforce and religious aspects of the time. The good student is shaped by Eurocentric desires of punctuality, task-oriented, and not to question what is in play.

One thought on “Week 2 – What Does It Mean To Be a Student?

  1. Janelle,
    Your post was really in-depth, concise and easy-to-follow. It’s fascinating hearing about how much of how we end of being is potentially shaped by our subconscious and also, how people who attempted to shape a generation is still managing to shape them now. It’s so powerful and kind of scary. The last part of your post made me think about how people who do not fit in that mould are treated. Your wording there was especially thought-provoking for me (whether you meant it to or not). Thanks again for posting!

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