Jul 11, 2019 in Education

Effects of Hidden Curriculum Essay

Hidden curriculum in schools is the aspect of schooling which is implicit and unintentional and plays a role in the construction of a student’s image of self, the world and others. The hidden aspects are mainly value based ideas which are communicated indirectly either in form of words or actions which are part of the everyday part of the children as they are in the school community. This messages that are impacted by the hidden curriculum often deal with values, behavior, beliefs and attitudes. This is why in addition to the cognitive development, a school has been given all the responsibility of ensuring the messages imparted to the children about learning, connection to the world, life and relationships. The frame work of the school as well as the design of the institution, the mode of learning of the children and the assessment done to they are likely to be the key functions of what the children gain in the hidden curriculum (Tanner, 1995).

A hidden curriculum ought to be one that assists the school in an indirect way that is to say that most of the outward factors influence students in the classroom. The factors include:

  1. Motivational techniques i.e. this normally revolves around the relationship between the students and the teachers.
  2. Student learning styles i.e. the activities which make a contribution towards the learning in the classroom and
  3. Learning groups where this entails the concrete factors which comprise of the overall aesthetic structures and the furniture in the classrooms.

Motivational techniques

A curriculum designed to operate in a school takes the learning path which guides the students and the teachers towards meeting their expectations as demanded by the school from them. With no strong curriculum, an institution lacks the functionality as there are no standards established in which students can emulate (WREN, 1999). The school plus the neighborhood, in which the students are, both have the responsibility of creating a written in addition to a hidden curriculum to be used in the schools. It is at the interest of the students to ensure a working dialogue among the school and the community hence maintaining a learning environment that is effective (Myles, 2001). 

The differences between hidden and established curriculum is eminent as teachers teach what is laid before them in written curriculum as the students harvest the information and acquire the concepts. When the teacher is administering this as directed by the written curriculum, he/she barely knows that they are transmitting signals that can be labeled as hidden curriculum. In this manner, students realize faster what is happening as the ideas are relayed unto them as they transform the way students feel or think when in class. They in a quick way learn that the best way for attaining success and earning high grades is by conformity. This indirect way of relaying information can be motivational depending on how it is relayed (WREN, 1999).

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It is obvious that students only acquire the hidden ideas as they attend school and doing it consistently. In a couple of schools typical values and norms are instilled which includes learning a behavior of following rules, respecting the authority, being on time, practicing patience, functions of the society and other normal goals in a society. Accompanying this, students have to be consistent in being attentive and also in creating a strong attendance at the classroom (FW, 1998).

The codes of behavior which are generally promoted at the schools often affect students and the way they learn. Students for example are subject to a variety of messages during their learning experience and at such times, most adolescent are needed to be silent and hopefully express no thoughts. But hidden curriculum ensures that measures are put in place in exploring and discovering the limitations placed on the students at the classrooms (Myles, 2001).

Hence, teachers are obliged to tweak constantly the teaching styles they instill and hence discovering correct styles of instructions that meet the needs of the students in as well as pleasing their parents. A questionnaire based on the needs assessment has previously been utilized by many educators in the past. This questionnaire when used by the teachers send signals to students as well as parents that the success of the class is well cared for. Students on the other hand pick up teachers who care about them and need them to succeed. When students are taught by a teacher that feels this way they would try all their best to please the teacher as they improve their studies (FW, 1998).   

Student learning styles

Teachers should also put into account that students have various techniques of learning. Every student upholds a unique way of learning i.e. a student may learn well by listening while another may do better via sight. Not forgetting the students that may have a combination of both and thus require specialized attention. Hence, every student has different learning skills and thus they ought to be given an opportunity to be effective learners (WREN, 1999).

A possible sticking point is the fact that both the students and the teachers may have biases which may interfere with one another for example moral issues. This would need to be handled in a tactful and careful manner and thus the effectiveness of the classroom is maintained.  An example of a teacher tackling this is by him/her covering other cultures and how they handle various moral issues. This may bring to creation of students which are a bit tolerable of opinions of other people a trait which is variable in a later life (FW, 1998).

Learning via team assignments can assist various students with learning especially in the classrooms. As some students may never have matured better social skills needed in working as a team a teacher helps by assimilating the students into teams hence making them comfortable. This requires specialized care and attentiveness when plans are made for members on each learning teams. There are a variety of ways in which teachers can group students for example randomly, grouping them by style of learning or grades. This may be achieved via conducting needs assessment questionnaire in addition to going over the previous student’s work may aid in the process of grouping them. As they form a learning team that is solid, students learn more about variety of information and by teaching others what they have learnt hence increasing the learning process (FW, 1998).

Learning groups

Another factor that can influence on the way instructions are delivered is the classroom size i.e. the way furniture is arranged. As the class is more crowded, teachers bear a harder task of controlling and managing the class. This in turn brings with it a negative effect of hindering the chances of students asking questions and understanding information being lectured by their teachers. Hence, the arrangement of furniture is influential towards carrying out group discussions (WREN, 1999). Arranging the desks in a circular manner for example assists in reinforcing social skills.  For today’s classrooms, the teacher carry’s lesser influence above the overall success of the class as compared to when the students take up their own education.

In this regards, teachers can take passive roles as they offer lectures and hence they primarily help in laying foundation to the curriculum thus making the students to critically think about the information. With a more flexible arrangement of furniture a tone of freedom is set hence making able for students to discuss in the classroom. With the classrooms being less rigid the students are relaxed for learning. Hence counselors should consider advising schools on the arrangement of classrooms in a manner likely to motivate the way students understand what they are taught (Myles, 2001).

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