Hidden Curriculum

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Running head: Hidden Curriculum; Forces That Impact Instruction

Hidden Curriculum; Forces That Impact Instruction
S. Duncan
University of Phoenix
EDD 558
Jennifer Wordell
Monday, June 12, 2006

Hidden Curriculum; Forces That Impact Instruction
Students who go to college to become teachers are taught a general course of subject matter that when they become teachers they will teach to their students. They are given new ways to teach the same curriculum that has been taught for generations. Once known as the 3 R’s (reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic), this curriculum is known or explicit, it is written down and they are conscious of what it is that should be taught. However, another curriculum not known or implicit, a hidden curriculum, has been taught to these student/teachers and they will teach it to their students. Hidden curriculum deals with school culture and the values being espoused. The basic idea behind the concept of the hidden curriculum is that pupils learn things that are not actually taught in the formal curriculum and, in this respect, the concept of a hidden curriculum refers to the way the learning process is organized.

There are two schools of thought regarding hidden curriculum, one is negative and one is positive. John Taylor Gatto is one educator twice recognized as New York’s Teacher of the Year, who believes that the hidden curriculum corrupts rather than enhances students in public education; The current debate about whether we should have a national curriculum is phony. We already have a national curriculum locked up in the seven lessons (hidden curriculum) I have just outlined. Such a curriculum produced physical, moral, and intellectual paralysis, and no curriculum of content will be sufficient to reverse its hideous effects….Schools teach exactly what they are intended to teach and they do it well: how to be a good "Egyptian and remain in your place in the pyramid…"(Gatto, 1993).

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