According to Kevin K. Kumashiro, being a “good” student is a student who conforms to the natural behaviors that come from mainstream society, which is also known as commonsense. This commonsense behavior that makes them a “good” student can be seen in a student who behaves or has certain knowledge and skills in certain areas that makes them seem like they are saying and doing the right things. Being a “good” student can also be seen as someone who follows the rules, hands in their assignments on time, comes to school everyday, has their needed school supplies ready, is organized, pays attention in class, follows directions, asks for help when needed, participates in class activities, always does their best, and gets good grades on their tests. In Kumashiro’s text, he writes about how he was making his students conform to be “good students” by having them complete certain assignments in certain ways, and then he would get them to repeat the answers on their exams with the right definitions, themes, analyses according to what he thought was correct.
What Kumashiro did not realize at first when he started teaching was that the closer a student got to saying the right things in the right ways, the higher the student’s grades would be. This shows that the students who were saying the right things and doing the right things were given privileges such as praise and good grades by being the “good” student. Students were also expected to interpret the books that they read and answer the exam questions in the way that the teacher said was right and if any of the students had other opinions that did not line up with the teachers, they were penalized by getting a lower mark on their test scores. By fitting this mold of the “good” student, other students were not as engaged because they were not give the room to be creative in their assignments or they were not learning in the way that they learn best.
Because of these commonsense ideas it makes it difficult for students to stand up against these ideologies that their teachers are displaying to them. It’s difficult for the students to ask the teachers to teach in a way that they learn best if the teachers are used to teaching a certain way. It is also difficult for students to voice their criticisms of their educators’ teachings. Though some students are able to voice their opinions, not all teachers take those comments to heart and think about changing the way they teach, encourage learning, or the definition of being a “good” student.