hidden curriculum Education is designed to serve many purposes towards the youths of today. It teaches the youth how to be better people and it prepares them for life. Education teaches its pupils knowledge in more that one way, by looking at life in different directions. There is a curriculum that is taught by the teachers and the textbooks, and in addition to the standard schooling there is also a “hidden curriculum.” Gatto and Rose each have their own style of teaching and learning and their articles explain their unique styles.
In college, high school, and even previous schooling, lessons are taught that enforce hidden instruction, but the students that succeed are the ones that recognize this and learn from it. In the article “The Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher,” written by the teacher John Taylor Gatto, he sarcastically talks about how he secretly teaches his students lessons in life without their knowing. His messages teach important things in life such as patience and organization. Gatto’s lessons like these are important for people to learn in school, but they cannot be taught out of a book or in a lesson. He believes these types of lessons must be taught to children within hidden messages to make it easier to learn.
Gatto is speaking the truth when he says that the lesson plans of teachers contain much hidden curriculum. For example, Gatto jokingly says that he teaches confusion as one of these mysterious lessons. “Meaning, not disconnected facts, is what sane human beings seek, and education is set of codes for processing raw data into meaning.” (Pg. 153) Confusion is experienced all throughout schooling, many teachers in class do not know how to distinguish that. They believe that they are being clear, when in reality they are being the exact opposite. An example of confusion in classrooms is when the lessons are taught and then a test is given on a different lesson that the students have already previously learned about.
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Basically the students of the class would not know what chapter to study from until the teacher announces the date of the test which is very short notice. This reinforces what Gatto states in his story how learning is taught in different forms. He talks about how he mixes up the material to confuse the children and this is exactly how some teachers think. He only did this to work the students minds and make them think.
This puzzling teaching style teaches a person to always be on guard and to be alert. Gatto explains that he manipulates his students into thinking that there is a constant surveillance on them at all times. Gatto’s technique is quite genius in that how he does not directly tell them that they are being watched, he speaks with his actions. When the students believe that they are being constantly monitored, they try to change their bad habits that are being harped on and develop new ones to satisfy the person watching them. These good habits could start up and then stick with a student for the rest of their life, as long as they push themselves to work hard at them. Each student has a specific way that they enjoy learning and find it easiest to absorb information.
Mike Rose a professor at UCLA explains his experience in his article, ” I Just Wanna be Average”, and how going to school wasn’t as easy because of many distractions. Rose was placed on a vocational track because of mixed up test scores. So he went through most of schooling doing whatever it took just to get by. He did not place much effort into his schooling because he just did not feel the need to.
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Finally his junior year the school found the mistake and placed him into college prep courses where he finally found out that he was going to have to shape up. “I started reading again as I hadn’t since elementary school.” (Pg. 170) Jack McFarland, an English teacher, became Rose’s mentor through the rest of high school and helped him with everything. He pushed him to work harder and look into the future. Mcfarland helped Rose get into a private college where Rose would continue his education. Rose’s education experience was not as easy as pie, but with help and guidance he made it through.
Gatto and Rose each look at education in their own unique way. Gatto taught many children such as Rose and knew that they needed that extra push because they are lost in certain areas of schooling. Gatto taught one lesson on intellectual dependency that proved that good students wait for a teacher to tell them what to do. Rose went through school waiting but for the wrong reasons without trying to decipher the hidden curriculum and learn from it, he just did what it took to get by. Rose’s experience challenges what Gatto preaches each day in the classroom because Rose never put much effort into learning and Gatto liked to see students putting out the effort to learn. Rose and many other students need this hidden curriculum to learn and succeed, because without this they never push themselves hard enough.
Rose needed a teacher like Gatto through his schooling that would have put him into check and made him realize that you only get what you put into education. Hidden curriculum is enforced in all levels of schooling. It is rarely mentioned, yet it has such an important part in our society today. It shapes how mankind functions as a unit and is responsible for the condition of the world today.
There are many different ways to teach what teachers teach, but nobody knows exactly how to teach children lessons that simplify cannot be read in a book. This is the genuine way to understand what makes a good teacher. We all have our own styles of learning, but the trick in life is to try and learn at least one thing from everyone that you meet.
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