Sociology Index


Hidden curriculum is the norms, values and social expectations indirectly conveyed to students by the styles of teaching, unarticulated assumptions in teaching materials and the organizational characteristics of educational institutions. Social scientists find that the influence of the hidden curriculum on educational outcomes is equal to or greater than the overt or intended curriculum.

Curriculum theorists often distinguish between the formal or official curriculum from the actual or hidden curriculum. Curriculum theorists argue that the hidden curriculum always has a normative, or moral, component and that educators have a responsibility to make the hidden curriculum as explicit as possible. Exposing the Hidden Curriculum - Portelli, John P.

Many recent treatments of the hidden curriculum have overlooked historical antecedents of the early progressive curriculum literature. Insights derived from John Dewey and others portray the hidden curriculum more positively than some of the ideologically laden interpretations in vogue today. The hidden curriculum can foster both empowering and disempowering behavior. The Forgotten Hidden Curriculum - Hlebowitsh, Peter S. -

Learning and social change: The formal and the hidden curriculum - Bonni Yordi
Abstract This article reviews the learning process and ways in which it can hinder or contribute to intellectual development, the development of critical consciousness (as defined by Paulo Freire), and social change. Interviews with students illustrate that Freire's concepts are applicable to understanding the process students describe as they extrapolate the hidden curriculum, examine the effect on their learning process, and struggle to free themselves from this socialization process.

Critical Race Theory, Multicultural (Multiculturalism) Education, and the Hidden Curriculum of Hegemony
Michelle Jay, University of North Carolina
Embracing a critical race theory perspective, the researcher argues for a revisiting of the role of the hidden curriculum in education, particularly as it pertains to multicultural education. Using the concept of hegemony as a tool for analysis, the author explicates the ways in which the hidden curriculum enables educational institutions to argue in support of multicultural initiatives while simultaneously suppressing multicultural education's transformative possibilities. Through its failure to appreciate the challenges posed by the hidden curriculum, multicultural education gets appropriated as a "hegemonic device" that secures a continued position of power and leadership for the dominant groups in society. The author calls on those who conduct research on multicultural education to turn their attention to the ways in which the hidden curriculum keeps multicultural education stagnant.

Staying On At 16+: a hidden curriculum of tutoring - Author: Eggleston J.
Abstract: Staying on after minimum school leaving age has long been a key indicator of the distribution of educational opportunity and life chances. Its growing incidence has been a major component of the expansion of school and post school education in Britain in the closing quarter of the twentieth century.

Integration and the hidden curriculum in business education 
Ottewill, Roger; McKenzie, George; Leah, Jean
Abstract: Purpose - The principal aim of this paper is to present the case for securing greater affinity between the formal curriculum and the hidden curriculum with respect to integration in business education. Design/methodology/approach - Consideration is given to the concept of the hidden curriculum, as manifested in the compartmentalised nature of academia and the need for this to be offset by business educators. A number of principles for configuring the hidden curriculum in ways that support the goal of integration are suggested. Findings - Some of the literature on the hidden curriculum emphasises the need for consistency in the learning culture so that students' understanding of what their course is seeking to achieve is underpinned by the structures and processes that play an important part in shaping their learning experience. The paper complements the very limited literature on the hidden curriculum in higher education, in general, and business education, in particular.

What do Students Learn when we Teach Music? - An Investigation of the `Hidden' Curriculum in a University Music Department - Stephanie E. Pitts, University of Sheffield
Students and staff gave their views on the messages and values communicated through the teaching and atmosphere of the music department, so building up a preliminary picture of the `hidden' curriculum, which runs alongside more formal teaching. The music department is portrayed as a `family', with the strengths and conflicts that this brings to its members, and the results of the study show a realization that responsibility for learning lies with the students, despite a high level of dependence on teaching staff for motivation and guidance. Implications for teaching and pastoral care in higher education are also considered, with the conclusion that the 'hidden' curriculum has an important role to play in shaping the student experience of university.

The hidden curriculum in undergraduate medical education: qualitative study of medical students' perceptions of teaching
Heidi Lempp, senior qualitative research and Clive Seale, professor of sociology
Abstract: Objective To study medical students' views about the quality of the teaching they receive during their undergraduate training, especially in terms of the hidden curriculum.
Conclusions: Following on from the recent reforms of the manifest curriculum, the hidden curriculum now needs attention to produce the necessary fundamental changes in the culture of undergraduate medical education.

Hidden curriculum in the university - G. Bergenhenegouwen
Abstract This article contains the results of two research projects in the faculty of social science of the University of Amsterdam into the hidden curriculum in university. The results show that students do experience something like a hidden curriculum in university study. The article goes into the question what the hidden curriculum in university is and what extra things are learnt in addition to the official curriculum. There appears to be a tendency among students to study not only for the sake of a diploma (exchange value), but also to make the study more practicable in their personal lives and find a link with their own everyday experience (practical value). The latter attitude towards study appears to be an important factor to minimize the effect of the hidden curriculum and so to do more justice to the official curriculum.

The Hidden Curriculum: What do we really want our students to learn?
Edward F. Redish, University of Maryland, College Park MD 
We are rarely explicit about what we want our students to learn in introductory college or university physics. We often say we want them to "learn problem solving", but we usually have in mind complex, expert problem solving skills. In practice, we usually test for algorithmic problem solving and pattern matching skills, something quite different. I refer to this gap between what we want and what we do as representing a ``hidden curriculum". At the University of Maryland, the Physics Education Research Group has been exploring some of the components of the hidden curriculum.