The curriculum and the hidden curriculum The culture of schools and social interaction in classroom Language and culture as dimensions of social inequality in education systems The influence of peer groups Submitted by: Mrs Shalini Ramdhean-Goburdhun PGCE Social Sciences Part time To : Mr OM Varma Date: 29. 10. 09 Table of content pages The curriculum and the hidden curriculum3 Three elements of education3 Definition of formal curriculum3Definition of informal curriculum 4 • Hidden curriculum at school • The content of hidden curriculum 5 The culture of schools and social interaction in classroom The school and the classroom6 • Middle class knowledge 6 • Culture clash 6 • Teachers’ attitudes 8 •Institutional racism 9 • Streaming 9 • labeling and the self fulfilling prophecy 10 Language and culture as dimensions of social inequality in education systems • Language 11 • The school ‘counter culture’ 12The influence of peer groups • Peer group 13 Glossary 14 References 15 The curriculum and the hidden curriculum Education comprises of three elements: • Knowledge about the world • Skills for employment • Values and attitudes which people take into their adult lives.There is a debate about whether the knowledge, attitudes and skills benefit individuals or only the interests of the more powerful group in society. At school, students learn about the formal curriculum and informal curriculum. Both curriculums are equally important for the development of individuals. These curriculums produce knowledge, attitudes and skills within an individual. Definition of formal curriculum The formal curriculum (also known as the official curriculum) consists of areas of academic knowledge which pupils are expected to obtain.For example, it is the form of schooling, rules and disciplines, academic subjects, activities, syllabus and so on. The academic qualification is given more importance and it helps to produce expertise individuals. Definition of informal curriculum The informal curriculum (also known as hidden curriculum) is the teaching of values, attitudes, and behaviour through the school’s organization and teachers’ attitudes. These values and attitudes are implicitly conveyed to pupils. Sometimes, the messages transmitted as a result of its organization and practices are more powerful than the content of subjects.It acts as an agency of social control and creates an acceptance of the school’s and hence society’s, promotes the recognition of authority structure. It does not form part of the formal timetable. It takes place outside particular subjects and lessons, as a general part of the school life. The school acts as important agencies of social control. It persuades children to learn and conform to the dominant values and norms expected by society. This is mainly carried out through hidden curriculum.Since there are no obvious, systematized courses in obedience and conformity like academic subjects, the teaching of these values and attitudes is hidden. The young people learn about a wide range of issues from gender to ethnicity and social class. Some claim that extremes of wealth and poverty are normal and should simply be accepted. >Hidden curriculum at school In school we are taught subjects. But, we learn much more than what we are taught formally at school. What are these extras? They are about socialising individuals or pupils into norms, values and beliefs; or getting them to take up the ideology of wider capitalist society.This picture shows the path of socialisation [pic] Adrian Worsfold The content of hidden curriculum [pic] The culture of schools and social interaction in classroom The school and the classroom >Middle class knowledge Sociologist such as Young argued that middle classes have a monopoly on knowledge. They are the one more likely to succeed in education and they are in a position to decide what is important and not important. Some subjects are viewed as worthy of the schools and others are viewed as low status subjects.This is where the middle class culture and working class culture divides. The middle class culture values years of study of abstract knowledge, but whereas the working classes are more prone to study skills which can provide them with immediate gratification. Students who conform to the teachers ideas are more likely to do well at school. Those who reject the ideas of teachers are considered as the trouble makers. In other words if teachers’ ideas are challenged, it is viewed as deviance or lack of respect of teachers. The brightest students accept the authority of teachers.The rebel students or working class students always create troubles in class and they incessantly argue about the usefulness of studying. They represent the failures at school. The working class failure is produced at school and the interaction between teachers and students help to maintain the failures of a particular group. Thus the middle class control and define knowledge for the middle class while rejecting the working class. >Culture clash • Middle class and working class Schools are generally middle class institutions. They point out the value of many aspects of the middle class way of life.For example, the importance of hard work and study, sacrifices now for the future rewards, manners, and language use, and so on. For the middle class, school is an institution which is quite familiar with their way of living. The school greets the middle class as an extension of their home life, and they may start school already ‘tuned in’ to the atmosphere of the school. The adaptation of the middle class at school poses no problems and hence they easily get along with the subjects, doing homework, seeking good marks and cooperate with teachers and so on. As a result, the teacher considers them to be intelligent and classy.The working class children are disadvantaged at school as they are always compared to the middle class children. They are unfamiliar with the atmosphere of the school and thus behave differently. Consequently, this results in a culture clash where the working class values are in conflict with the middle class values. This can further explain the underachievement of the working class students. >Teachers’ attitudes, institutional racism, streaming, labeling and the self fulfilling prophecy i) Teachers’ attitudes Teachers’ attitudes are important to encourage students and give them an appropriate feedback on their abilities.Studies showed that in institutions where white teachers are working, they tend to discriminate between the minority groups and lower the expectations of their ability. Some sociologists suggest that white teachers have hidden prejudices and they treat black children in a different way. Researches conducted suggest that there are other factors which influenced teachers’ judgments of pupils’ ability. For example, teachers are highly influenced by the standards of behaviour, dress, speech and the social class background of pupils and their home environment. Teachers are middle class nd children from middle class have the same standards and values. The middle class students are more likely to be seen by teachers as more cooperative and brighter than those from working class homes. ii) Institutional racism The commission for Racial Equality in Britain has suggested that institutional racism exists in British schools. The schools expect students to behave and adopt the white and European values and those who behave differently are considered as the troublemakers. Subjects such as History or Literature English highlight the success of white British People. ii) Streaming In CPE, there was streaming at schools. Streaming or banding is a system to group pupils in a class or school according to their predicted ability. Teachers have to differentiate between the bright and dull students based on their ability and regroup them in different sections. Teachers think that the working class students are less intelligent because of their home background. Since teachers judgments have an impact on students performance, the working class students are hence disadvantaged and are found in the lower streams in schools.For Colin Lacey (1970), he saw the negative effect of streaming common in grammar schools where lower-stream boys were pushed into petty jobs such as working in the coffee bars and so on. Lacey found that in a mixed ability school, students are given more opportunities to succeed and an improvement is noticed in the performance of the dull students in exams, although the most able registered no change. iv) Labeling and self-fulfilling prophecy It is inevitable to apply labels to people. When we meet people, we often make judgment about them on the basis of little information.Labeling can affect a student’s performance in class. Based on teachers’ judgment or assumptions, students are labeled as bright or lazy or as troublemakers. Once students are labeled, it is hard to remove the tag. They are condemned and simply act according to the label. The labeled students act accordingly and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Such predictions and labeling can affect an individual’s view of himself or herself, and have a negative impact on their self esteem based on the label attached.Once placed in bottom stream, pupils may take on the characteristics expected of them by teachers. They are always the first one to be suspected when something goes wrong whereas the bright students gain confidence. Middle-class children continue to control the higher streams, thus creating working class underachievement in the education system. Even peer group has the power to define or label peers and these tags are considered as important as the teachers’ judgement. But teachers’ judgments may differ from those of students.A teacher can apply a positive label to students such as being bright but the same is regarded and labeled differently as earoles or licker by peers. The trouble makers may be popular among their peers and dominate the groups by labeling students. Language and culture as dimensions of social inequality in education systems >Language Language is very important at school and can decide about success or failure of students. Reading, writing, speaking and understanding, all form parts of language. Students coming from different social class background communicate in another way and they are judged by teachers in a different way.Bernstein argues that there is a relationship between language use and social class, and that the language used by the middle class is more accepted and lead towards success at school than the language used by the working class. He pointed out that there are two types of language used by students. One is the elaborated code where it is used by students coming from middle class background and the restricted code for the working class. Restricted code is less grammatical and explicit detail is unnecessary. According to Bernstein, this type of language is used by both middle class and working class pupils.The middle class pupils make use of this type of language among friends and use elaborated language in any formal situations. The working class students are limited to the restricted code which is not welcomed at schools among teachers. Elaborated code is the language which is more detailed and giving references with a full understanding of any situation. It is used in some formal context, where explanation and detail are required-like and interview for a job, writing a business letter, writing an essay or examination answer, or in a school lesson or textbook.Bernstein argues that the language used in schools is the elaborated code. The middle class child’s ability to use the elaborated code gives him an advantage at school over working-class children. The elaborated code of the middle class is more useful in understanding textbooks and writing essays and examination questions require full understanding and explanation which is found mainly in the formal language of the elaborated code. The middle class children find school more familiar and easier to adapt as their day to day language at home is used as a mode of communication.Thus the working class children are disadvantaged by using the restricted code only. In addition, the teacher underestimates the ability of working class students for their restricted use of language. The self-fulfilling prophecy may then come into effect. >The school ‘counter culture’ • Lads and earoles • The anti school sub culture Paul Willis argued that the school has develop a counter culture and those coming from working class are more likely to maintain such a culture and are considered as the non conformists.These pupils want to spice up their life by annoying teachers and turn the expectations of teachers upside down. They label students who are favoured by teachers as earoles or lobes. They consider themselves as lads. These pupils often rebel against the school and develop an alternative set of values, attitudes and behaviour in opposition to the aims of the school. This is called an anti-school sub-culture, and provides a means for bottom-stream pupils to achieve some success and status in their peer group.They from a small, extreme group and create a cultural space for themselves. Among such pupils, truancy, playing up teachers, messing about, breaking the school rules, and generally disrupting the smooth running of the school become a way of rebelling against the system and resisting a schooling which has labeled them as failures and denied them status. Bottom-stream pupils are very often working class and such pupils will often be found in the anti-school sub-culture. They then themselves reject the school which has already rejected them as failures and thick.This almost guarantees their failure in education, as they look forward to leaving school at the earliest possible opportunity, often before taking any ‘O Level’ qualifications. The influence of peer groups >Peer group A peer group is a group of people of similar age and status with whom a person mixes socially. At school the peer group plays an important role and has an impact on students attitudes. Students tend to gain acceptance among their peers by conforming to the norms of their peer group. However, conformity to the peer group may also promote deviance.Peer pressure may encourage them to adopt forms of deviant behaviour, such as playing truant from school, taking illegal drugs, or under-age drinking. High value is attributed to hard work, good behavior and exam success at school. Labeling and self fulfilling prophecy divides pupils between success and failure. The bottom stream students often rebel against the school and develop an alternative set of values, attitudes and behaviour. This is called the anti school sub-culture. It gives the bottom stream students some success and status in their peer groups. They themselves reject the school which has already rejected them as failures.This guarantees their failure in education. David Hargreaves argued that there are two main types of school subcultures. The top of the streaming system form academic culture which values hard work, compliance with authority and being turned out. At the other end, there is a subculture which values breaking rules and fighting, smoking, annoying the teachers and bending dress codes. Glossary Curriculum-A curriculum is prescriptive, and is based on a more general syllabus which merely specifies what topics must be understood and to what level to achieve a particular grade or standard-Hidden curriculum-The hidden curriculum is a term to used to describe the unwritten social rules and expectations of behavior that we all seem to know, but were never taught (Bieber, 1994). Formal curriculum- The desired curriculum based on national objectives and views of educators and experts in the discipline Immediate gratification- the pleasure principle strives to fulfill our most basic and primitive urges, Authority- refers to a claim of legitimacy, the justification and right to exercise that powerCulture clash- culture clash is when two or more cultures disagree about there believe or way of life. It is the misunderstandings, and disagreements between different cultures. Prejudices- An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts. Institutional racism- is any form of racism occurring specifically within institutions such as public government bodies, private business corporations, and universities (public and private). Streaming- meant splitting pupils into several different hierarchical groups which would stay together for all lessons.Banding- involved putting pupils into broad ability bands and was often used to ensure each school in an area had pupils representing a reasonable balance of each ability level. Self-fulfilling prophecy- Self-fulfilling prophecy is a phenomenon by which people’s expectations about the future events lead them to behave in particular ways that, on occasion, can cause the expected event to occur. Language barrier- is used primarily to indicate the difficulties faced when people, who have no language in common, attempt to communicate with each other.Restricted code- The restricted code is suitable for insiders who share assumptions and understanding on the topic Elaborated code- elaborated code is more explicit, more thorough, and does not require the listener to read between the lines. Peer group- A peer group is a social group consisting of people who are equal in such respects as age, education or social class. Subcultures- a subculture is a group of people with a culture (whether distinct or hidden) which differentiates them from the larger culture to which they belong ReferencesBlundell, J Active Sociology for GCSE 2001, Longman Brown, K An introduction to Sociology, 3rd Edition 2005, Blackwell Moore, S Sociology Alive, 3rd Edition 2001, Nelson Thornes Wilson, P & Kidd, A Sociology for GCSE 1998, Harper Collins ———————– Hidden curriculum Controlling boredom Studies showed that students complain about lesson to be boring and so on. Even in workplace, these complain are made. At school, students learn that boredom is natural at school and workplace. According to Paul Willis, when students create problems at school12BDEPRuy! %4 E*RUs’”·?? OOoC D € ? ~ ‡ u # e f g they are actually just making life bearable. They are learning how to deal with very boring employment later in life. Race Schools and teachers might be neutral towards racism, but the curriculum or the school materials reinforces these ideas. For example, certain topics stress the white culture and the rejection of other cultures. Accepting authority Students are given a whole list of rules and disciplines at school. They are provided with no other option but to obey these rules and disciplines.They are being sanctioned whenever disobeyed. It prepares them to accept the rules and laws of the wider society. Gender The gender attitudes are strengthened at school giving opportunities to students to do subjects which are categorized specifically for male and female. Female students are supported to go for caring profession and male students are guided towards technical and science subjects. Hierarchy Schools teach students about hierarchy, those having more power will be placed at the top and those those having less power will be placed at the bottom.It reinforces the idea of social hierarchy and allows students for a better preparation for their future workplace. Powerlessness Students are encouraged to engage in classroom discussion to deal with certain problem and so on. But whenever the school is concerned and money or about any decision making, students have no say in the system. Students learn about their powerlessness in future life. Inequality Schools educate that some students are brighter than others and they are rewarded with greater status and with awards of various kinds. Thus it legitimates the inequality of rewards .