I think that the experience of spending for 12,000 hours of being in school—from Kindergarten to Grade 12—allows us to be familiar with what curriculum may offer. I guess I have two understandings about curriculum since I am a witness of curriculum from two different cultures. This enables me to find, perceive, and/or differentiate what ‘commonsense’ are attached to that particular culture. Are they totally different or do they share some commonalities too?
The answer is that they still share some commonalities although both curriculums are not exactly the same. To elaborate, I observed that participations, assignments, and examinations are all common sense within both curriculums. Although some may argue that the mentioned ways of measurements are not the only ways to evaluate if a child met the desired outcomes, assignments, tests, and participations are still some of the examples of (un)questioned and mandatory activities in the majority of education system. These three typical methodologies of measuring a child’s knowledge are part of the common sense in a way that they are kept untouched, although they have been recently criticized.
The common sense that was established from my recent schooling is the fact that education is student-centered. To elaborate, this means that learning is being flexible to accommodate students’ learning styles, interests, and abilities. This provides the teachers to play the role of a facilitator, instead of being a dictator. However, the approach of student-centred learning is not a common-sense in the other culture that I have witnessed. The culture where I grew up is mostly traditional learning—although group work plays an important aspect within learning. There are many instances when the teacher stands in the front, discuss the lectures, and/or write the details on a chalkboard. Meanwhile, the students are too focused learning the subjects. However, although the education system and learning approach is not as flexible as what we have here in Canada, students developed a great passion in studying, to the extent that majority of students developed a high level of competitiveness within classes. I believe that this passion and competitiveness allow students to enhance their creative and critical thinking which can be applied in their further career.
Overall, I think that there are different commonsensical notions developed depending on curriculums and education systems. This is like developing cultural activities—such as songs, dance, festivities, holidays, etc.—depending on specific culture. However, this does not mean that the commonsensical notions in a certain curriculum are impossible to find in another curriculum. Certainly, there are overlaps and commonalities that can be shared between several curriculums. Nonetheless, our beliefs and teachings must not be purely dependent on these common senses that were developed within curricula. Instead, we must be aware of them and challenge their importance to enhance our pedagogy.