According to common sense a “good” student is meant to listen and obey the instructions of the teacher, following suit of what society deems as good. Readily waiting to learn and pay attention in class. Expected to know the answers and study hard for exams and quizzes, understanding the course content that the teacher is teaching. The students that are privileged from the standpoint of a “good” student are often those that understand the class material, are able to concentrate in class, ask questions, and score well on exams and quizzes. This leaves out the groups of students who are often struggling within the classroom, deeming them to be “lazy” or “bad” students. This can also be privileged by race, culture, gender. etc categorizing these students into areas where they think they are less likely to succeed. The teachers goal is to “fill the empty glass” but the students glasses are not empty, they are simply different due to their home life, experiences, culture, race, etc. These can often be problematic, as the students are knowledgeable of the social norms and common sense ideas of what kind of student they are. Believing that because of their differences in learning that they are “bad”. The common sense ideas create barriers on students, influencing the students to believe they are bad and not a good student. This barrier shuts the student off from connecting within the classroom and creates a divide between the student and teacher. The teacher often sees the students who are learning different as being “difficult” because they do not want to learn but that may not always be the case. The teacher being blind to how to open up the student to different strategies of learning.
Hidden within the curriculum is embedded educational experiences further than the curriculum itself. In the journal article “Revealing the Hidden Curriculum in Higher Education” written by José Víctor Orón Semper and Maribel Blasco, hidden curriculum is explored in higher education with the recognition of the transition from a teacher-centered education to a student-centered education (Oron Semper and Blasco 481). In the context of school, students are taught more than what they are claimed to be taught, influencing their values and behaviours (Oron Semper and Blasco 482). Oron Semper and Blasco examine educational philosophers to support their argument that learning is not only based off of student based teaching but the teacher's engagement with their learning experiences. Examining Peters, Knowles, Kohlberg and Mayer, concerns over learning has been prominent since the origins of education itself.
Oron Semper and Blasco suggest that scholars have previously stated that the hidden curriculum is not actually hidden but over time taken for granted and rarely given attention. Further the term “hidden” is relative to those in perspective, some groups may not see the hidden aspect while others may (Oron Semper and Blasco 484). An aspect of hidden curriculum is also be argued as purposely hidden, as others may not notice it or to ensure the intent of teaching. Oron Semper and Blasco further state that if higher education teachers fail to see their role within personal issues, the hidden curriculum will remain a problem. Offering suggestions, Oron Semper and Blasco make subtle corrections to the relationship between teachers and students that are needed to make the hidden curriculum apparent (495).
To further explore the hidden curriculum, I am going to connect articles revolving around the main argument in higher education settings. Comparing the similarities and differences between articles and their supporting ideas. Detailing the ideas and corrections suggested and compare to other articles suggested corrections. I will also compare the structure and writing of the authors and their approach to their argument.
The curriculum developed has been influenced by many years and theories from a traditional perspective. Within the school system the Tyler rationale can be seen today with; teacher conferences to ensure a student is provided goals within their courses, breaking down curriculum content into smaller units and sections, written exams to test course knowledge. The Tyler rationale goal is to plan out courses and content based off of student and school needs. This goal has both advantages and disadvantages. An advantage can be referred to as the consideration of student and school needs, helping the students be more engaged with their course content and setting specific goals for the students. A disadvantage is the constant revaluation of learning objectives with the constant changing society, this takes time and it may not be readily available. The rationale also fails to recognize home life, whether that is resources, poverty, technology, etc. This curriculum theory is a theory of product, targeting the final product rather than the entire process of teaching.
Common sense, the expectation of knowing. The article “The Problem of Common Sense” written by Kumashiro touches on the idea of common sense and it’s problems. Kumashiro defines common sense as an expectation to know knowledge, ideas, concepts, etc, common to nearly all people without challenging or debating. Within the idea of common sense there become the challenges of how teaching and learning can be impacted.
The Peace Corps described by Kumashiro believed there is a common sense to teaching,
“... good teaching that was informed primarily by how teaching was generally experienced, discussed and conceptualized in the United States… Good teaching was not something that we needed to learn; rather, it was something we had already learned” (Kumashiro XXXII). With the belief that being within the school system from a child to an adult had created a “common sense” on how to teach rather than further learning more on how to teach, creating problems.
The “common sense” idea is problematic as those who do other than what is expected are, “... dismissed as biased, as a distraction from the real work of schools, as inappropriate for schools, or simply as nonsensical”(Kumashiro XXXIV). Limiting the purposes of schooling and ways of teaching, common sense does not tell of what could be done but of what should be done. “Should” providing the need to conform to what is acceptable in society, but also providing a comfort zone. Leading to norms and marginalization between students of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disabilities etc.