Hidden to students through the underlying rules

Hidden curriculumis an extremely powerful force that impacts students, positively or negatively,depending on the circumstances in which they find themselves. It refers to theunwritten, unprinted, unofficial and often unintended lessons, values andperspectives that students learn in school. Further, it also refers to a rangeof ideas that students learn from the experience of being in school, but notformal curriculum. In many situations it is the implicit message conveyedthrough the structure and organization of the institution.

The hiddencurriculum is based on the recognition that students absorb the lessons inschool that may not be part of formal curriculum, for instance how thepupil-teacher relationship is; how the pupil-pupil relationship is; what ideasand behaviour are considered acceptable or unacceptable; and many more.Hidden curriculum is described as “hidden” because itis usually unacknowledged or unexamined b the students, teachers, and the widercommunity while the lessons are being taught. Hidden curriculum is viewed asways in which cultural values and attitudes such as punctuality, discipline andgratification are transmitted through the structure of teaching andorganization of schools. Students learn subjects like Mathematics, English,Sciences and Social Sciences in school, but most value lessons come from hiddencurriculum.

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It makes subjects meaningful and the presented collection of factsthrough subjects form the purpose of teaching. Further if we talk aboutleadership it cannot be measured in the subjects but it is measured by moralsand values that turn ordinary people into caring and inspiring leaders and suchvalues only come from hidden curriculum.For Giroux (2001), “unstated norms, values andbeliefs embedded in and transmitted to students through the underlying rulesthat structure the routines and social relationships in school and classroomlife” comprises the hidden curriculum. The non-academic and unintended normsand practices are transmitted among students which are not structured but reinforcedamong students. These norms act as a process of socialization to inculcatevalues among students along with the knowledge and help them to achieve desiredadult roles in society. Additionally, she argues that the hidden curriculum isnot just the vehicle of socialization but agency of social control whichpromotes the societal pattern and social inequalities. She categorized hiddencurriculum into three different perspectives: traditional, liberal and radical.·        Traditional perspective implies thatschools’ curriculum plays the basic role in propagating all the practices andstructure of society.

The traditional schools religiously believe inreproducing the dominant structure of society and explicitly accept the role ofschools in promoting such values (Giroux, 2001). Students learn the values and adultroles required to survive in the existing society apart from the familyconfined roles through hidden curriculum. It provides necessary conditions forthe effective learning but in relation to the power structure which preparesthem to accept social order and conformity.·        Radical perspective clearly focusesschools as propagating agents of social structure which maintains the politicalideology of the society. It claims that schools provide class specificeducation, i.e.

, different functions for different groups. It trains middleclass students to internalize norms and standards of control. This approach notonly propagates hegemonic classroom practices, but also the political ideology.·        Liberal approach considers hiddencurriculum to be those taken for granted assumptions and practices of schoollife which although being created by various ‘actors’ within the school, takeon an appearance of accepted normality through their daily production andreproduction. For Apple (1990), claims that science enjoys theappreciated place in the society which is unquestionable. Its scientificallyproven nature and being more logical made its standards high and accepted inthe community. In Indian schools system, those who are engaged in sciences getan advantage over others are they are thought be having more intellect.Additionally, Department of Science disciplines get a more dignified place thanany other discipline.

Whereas, the disciplines of Social sciences, which arepromoting more to social injustice and inequalities doesn’t have an essentialpart in society. Theses disciplines that aim to showcase the reality andunderstanding the model are usually ignored. Developing vaules is a functionalaspect of the discipline but the values it provides emphasize the existingstructure and norms of society.Cultural capital isa social space in which conflicts of power are enacted; social stratificationis produced and transmitted inter-generationally, in interaction with economiccapital (Bourdieu). Individuals’ cultural capital may be considered as asocietal asset, both in view of economic development and from the perspectiveof social integration at the national and international level. In turn,cultural capital in the form of objective assets may be also a societalproperty, part of overall wealth and resource for its economy and development,as well as a resource for the development of individual cultural capital. A hascultural capital, if he/she has acquired competence in the society’shigh-status culture.For Bourdieu (1986), cultural capital is a crucialdimension of the mechanisms of reproduction and maintenance of socialinequality.

In his view, class cannot be reduced to economic relations orposition in the division of labour. Class differences and power unbalances areproduced and reproduced also through the sharing and control of what counts asculture. If families are the primar agents of cultural transmission, schoolsplay important role in legitimising and strengthening it. According toBourdieu, in fact, the school system tends to support and acknowledge thedominant culture, thus reinforcing the mechanisms of reproduction of socialinequality.

According to Bourdieu, three types of culturalcapital should be distinguished:·        Embodied cultural capital consists ofboth the consciously acquired and the passively “inherited” features thatcharacterize that characterize ways of being and feeling, such as language,tastes, patterns of communication and behaviour and so forth. It is acquiredover time, through socialization. Overall, Bourdieu identifies there sub-typesof embodied cultural capital that belong to three different social classes:Bourgeoisie, middle class and working class.

·        Objectified cultural capital consists ofphysical objects that are owned, such as our cars, works of art, or even ourgroceries. These cultural goods can be transmitted both for economic profit andfor the purpose of “symbolically” conveying the cultural capital whoseacquisition they facilitate.·        Institutionalized cultural capitalconsists of institutional recognition, most often in the form of academiccredentials or qualifications, of the cultural capital held by an individual.The institutional recognition process eases the conversion of cultural capitalto economic capital by serving as an experience based model that sellers canuse to describe their capital and buyers can use to describe their needs. For Parson (1961), school class is an “agency ofsocialization” which train motivationally and technically, children to performthe adult role in the society. He analysed the role of family and peer group inthe school class and process of socialization. He claims that schools focus ondeveloping the commitment towards the implementation of values of society andthe specific role within the structure of society.

REFLECTIONSHidden curriculum is one of several ways to impactthe education in schools. Therefore, educators who work with curriculumdevelopment should be aware of this type of curriculum when they design anddevelop the curriculum. Sometimes, teachers positively use hidden curriculumwithout being aware, through their behaviours and methods of teaching in theclassroom. However, some teachers purposely use the hidden curriculum becausethey are aware of this kind of curriculum and its influences and results.Teachers want to teach their students several knowledge, beliefs, andexperiences, but they cannot do this for some reasons.

For instance, teacherscannot teach these things explicitly to the students because these are not partof the planned curriculum, so they implicitly reinforce the values through thehidden curriculum.In addition, when teachers want to teach and developthe skills and languages of their students, but they do not have enough time todo this directly by the planned curriculum, they can use hidden curriculum. Forinstance, when a child is asked his name and the teacher adds anotherstatement, where she tells her own name, the students himself will understandthe meaning of the question being asked. Very often hidden curriculum may reinforce thelessons of formal curriculum, but sometimes it may contradict.

A school maypublicly claim to ensure that all students will succeed academically, but thereview if its performance data will expose significant socioeconomicdiscrepancies when it comes to test scores. Taking into account, Cultural capital, we can seethat in s classroom one or the other child always have an upper hand over theother. For instance, a child who brings new things to classroom will usuallyhave more friends as compared to the one who mostly doesn’t buy new articles.Here, the child who brings new things has a cultural capital over the others.In the M.C.D. school, where I have done internship, I saw that most of thestudents come from Hindu families expect a few who were from Muslim family andwho were usually ignored.

Here, since the Hindu students are in majority andtheir thought and religious practices are same, they have cultural capital overthe Muslim students.


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