How can each student be viewed as a good student?

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

The “good” student according to commonsense still follows parts of the factory model of education. Traditionally, the “good” student is quiet, sits still and does what they are told. A student that is able to easily retrieve the information being taught and later regurgitate it on an assessment are viewed as the smarter or better students. As referred to in seminar, a good student needs to be silent and stand in a straight line while moving classrooms. As well, good students view their teachers as respectable superiors that is a holder of all upper knowledge.

Within my classroom, I believe a good student is a child that has an open mind to learning. I understand that not every student will want to learn but allowing students to take responsibility for their education can help them become stronger students. I believe that structure is needed within a classroom but it should not be so rigid that it impedes on a student’s creativity and individuality.

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

Typically developing students with stable home life is privileged. When teaching, one of the goals is to teach the next generation of workers so a teacher will try to make their students successful in the work force. Painter explains that in the Chinese culture boys were the ones being educated and in turn they are the most privileged. Students with any form of disability or disorder, mentally or physically, are pegged to be student with learning or social issues. Students of other ethnicities are marginalized, especially within history, because most textbooks students are exposed to are written from the “white” or European point of view. Though the “good student” idea is viewed negatively at times, it is helpful to some students who prefer independent structured assignments.

What is made impossible to see/understand/believe because of these commonsense ideas? 

I discussed this in an earlier blog post but it is so relevant in this situation.  If a teacher does not reflect on themselves within the classroom, then there is no way for their students to fully succeed. Students come into school with prior knowledge, beliefs and goals for the future. Teachers also come into school with prior knowledge, beliefs and goals for the class. Unless the teacher and the students work together to try to achieve a common goal they no goal will be fully met. One of the first priorities must be the identification of the end goal, and the documentation that shows how the students and staff will know when they have reached that goal. Students within minority groups are less likely to succeed within school. As well students are not encouraged to discover parts of their education for themselves, for example problem solving in math is a newer concept because it goes against the grain of traditional education. The idea of common sense come often with older generations’ belief that there does not need to be change within education because they were able to learn without the changes. Many in the older generation do not want to see new things in education, as they were taught in the factory model and they turned out just fine, so why fix it if it is not broken.  But educators are no longer the disseminators of facts, they are the guides that help students to think and problem solve. The idea that students are individuals and all learn differently is something that teachers are beginning to use but if it does not continue students will be treated less like individuals and more like a homogeneous group.


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