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answerjill's avatar

OK, sociology and education geeks: How would you teach about the "hidden curriculum" in an innovative way? Thanks.

Asked by answerjill (5672 points ) June 12th, 2012

I am planning a lesson for a Soc of Ed class.

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5 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Frankly, I’m not sure I’d do it in an innovative way. I.e., I would especially be leery of giving people any experience, say by handing out symbols for people to wear on their shirts, and then having group meetings and giving people certain coded knowledge about the meaning of each symbol and what it means about the person, and then asking people to role play. The thing is that even after the role play is over, the learning and relationships established during the role play may linger.

I would take a more straight forward approach. I would teach people academic knowledge about how our social roles get perpetuated in class, and then I would have kids brainstorm techniques to identify when people are behaving according to these codes. I would develop a group way of acknowledging or notifying that such behaviors are occurring. Then I would develop a group way of solving or ameliorating the behavior, on the spot.

So as soon as someone said they were being treated unfairly due to a set of class conditions (for being female, or a race, or income or whatever), the class activity would stop and would not go forward until the situation had been changed agreeable to all.

You’ll be spending a lot of time processing things, but that could be very interesting. I’m sure people would get tired of it. But then, maybe they’d learn to not report it, or to fix it quickly. I don’t know. It would be an experiment. But the key thing would be to identify the behavior wherever it happens and to report it instantly. Then process it and hopefully change the behavior.

You would be setting the expectation from the beginning that hidden curriculum activities must be uncovered instantly and eliminated. Good luck with that!

answerjill's avatar

Thanks, W!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t do any specific exersizes – the entire course that I teach is to uncover the hidden curriculum…I point out what’s hidden and eventually the students begin to do the same. My soc of education classes are about the insanity that is our education system and a lot of what I teach is about higher ed and how it affects their lives and why looking at higher ed can help them see all the injustice we talk about.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What is the “hidden curriculum”?

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