Reifying common sense: Writing the 6–12 Missouri social studies content standards

Alexander Cuenca, Andrea M. Hawkman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The construction of content standards has become one of the most politicized processes in K-12 public education as those who determine the value of knowledge(s) also shape who retains or gains political power (Placier, Walker, & Foster, 2002; Sleeter, 2002; Heilig, Brown, & Brown, 2012). In this study, authors examine the process of crafting secondary social studies standards in the state of Missouri. Findings indicate that common sense was deployed in three areas: committee selection, standards writing, and committee decorum. As a result, the standards generated through this process served to reify the neoconservative/neoliberal status quo and failed to include reference to content beyond the scope of traditional knowledge, values, and intentions of conservative social studies. Authors also call for the adoption of a critical common sense which insists that the status quo of old-fashioned common sense is challenged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-68
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Social Studies Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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