According to commonsense it means to be a good student by adapting to what society or schools deem as important. Painter (1986) states, “the various faculties or capacities which await development in the child are elassed as physical, mental, and moral” (p. 1). Kumashiro (2010) confirms this idea by suggesting “mainstream society often places value on certain kinds of behaviors, knowledge, and skills” (p. 22). Therefore, according to commonsense, a good student would be one that has the proper skills, knowledge, and behavior that society has determined acceptable.
The students that would benefit from the definition of the good student are students that are familiar with the norms and values of the society. Any student that is unfamiliar with the norms or values of the society might struggle adapting to the new environment. Kumashiro (2010) suggests “schools would disadvantage students by not teaching what often matters in schools and society” (p. 22). Thus, students that are familiar with the norms and values with be privileged when they are in the school setting because they already have the prior knowledge to help them along the way.
The good student is shaped by historical factors because “it is clear that education, both in its subjects and methods of instructions, should have some reference to the demands of practical life” (Painter, 1986, p. 3). Therefore, concepts of what it means to be a good student are shaped by the demands of society and the behaviours our future citizens are expected to possess.