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Who has all the power?

Obviously curriculum plays an important role in education and teaching. The role of the teacher is equally or even more important. Teachers go through years of schooling, learning about the do’s and don’ts about teaching, the best methods to teach and lesson plans etc. Wouldn’t you think that the person who has gone through all this education would be the best suitor to chose what children learn? Or at least have a say in the way they learn.

People of political power absolutely have the authority and power over the curriculum. Teachers are considered unknowledgeable when it comes to the curriculum and how to implement it. Teachers are often considered just the people who get content across to students but that actually is a very important role. Teachers don’t really get to change the curriculum, or add and subtract to it. As a future teacher, I find it difficult having to follow the curriculum exactly without worrying about missing components or not being able to teach in my certain way.

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How is the “good” student good?

Chapter two of “Against Common Sense,” really defined what is meant by a good student and how they exhibit “common sense” behaviour. According to common sense, a good student is one who sits quietly, does their work, and doesn’t question the teacher or the curriculum. One part of the chapter that displays this that really caught my attention was when M wouldn’t learn how every other child learned. He would often stray away from typical classroom activities. I always knew that not every child learns the exact same way, but the first couple pages of the text really put into perspective about how some children learn.

The privileged children are the ones who sit quietly and regurgitate the information they have been taught. They basically learn best from sitting and listening to the teacher lecture them. therefore the good students are the ones to be considered privileged. I think it is sad how the “bad” student is characterized as wanting to learn in different ways than just sitting and listening and being quiet. In today’s society, this is completely opposite. Since the “good” children just sit quietly and don’t rebel against how the teacher is teaching, it would be difficult to see the child’s views because they are always considered wrong. I think it would also be difficult to see the child’s potential because the “common sense” teacher would just pass the child off as bad and not capable.