What are elements of the hidden curriculum?

The Hidden Curriculum

What are elements of the hidden curriculum?

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

In accordance with Structural functionalism, society is seen in terms of an entity which tries to reach equilibrium and maintain order. Within this context, education is seen as a vital means of achieving these ends. Because the United States was founded on Protestant religion these concepts became embedded in education and are reflected in the manner in which education has evolved. Education even a few decades ago was different because it was stricter and more purposeful. We see this agenda when there are demand for certain fields of work education seems to promote these areas. In a broader sense the purpose of education is to fulfill the work requirements of society. This is problematic because it has the adverse impact of stratifying society. Working class members of society achieve less in the education system for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons can be explained through conflict theory in which social groups vie for control. For example, most teachers by virtue of the fact that they went to college most likely came from families which could afford to send them to higher education. This means that most teachers are middle and upper class by virtue of economic standing. These teachers experienced education from this standpoint and as a result assume that students understand and experience education in the same manner that they did.

An example of this bias can be seen in how many people view education from the standpoint that parents should have an active role in the child’s education. For the lower economic class this may not always be possible because work might take priority over time given to educational concerns. Thus the cycle continues with working class people underachieving because in a rigid education model they are considered less scholastically inclined than middle class children who receive more support due to their economic position. Inadvertently, this creates a situation in which the lower class is admonished and subjugated to less paying and less meaningful careers while reserving better jobs for middle and upper class citizens. Is this a hidden curriculum? Yes, but one not always formed intentionally.


Vincent Triola. Thu, Jan 28, 2021. What are elements of the hidden curriculum? Retrieved from https://vincenttriola.com/blogs/ten-years-of-academic-writing/what-are-elements-of-the-hidden-curriculum

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