Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction
“Mom! I’m home.”
“Hi Dear! How was school today? What did you learn?”
“Well… I learned about the Vikings… and I learned how to add fractions… and I learned that it is disrespectful to talk to Johnny while the teacher is giving us a lesson.”
Admittedly, the above dialog is not entirely likely, but it illustrates what a child might say if he or she were aware of what is referred to as the hidden curriculum in education. Few of us will argue that all that we learned at school was contained in the subject matter we were taught. If we were to carefully look back upon our scholastic experience, we would realize that the experience was one that was full of socialization. We learned what an appropriate response to an insult would be; we learned that we should address adults with respect; we learned that it is proper to queue for things instead of shoving our way to the front of the line. Indeed you could say that we were not just taught our right from left, but also our right from wrong. That is exactly where the hidden curriculum becomes tricky. Should moral education be a part of a school’s curriculum, or is this something that should be left to the socialization a child gets at home?