Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work

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Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work

There essay displays evidence that teaching techniques employed in the various learning institutions perpetuate social immobility. The tactics have a self-fulfilling prophecy as they instill qualities in the students that prepare them for careers that are consistent with their parents’ professions. For instance, a student in a school that is predominantly constituted of children of blue-collar parents has their own improvised curriculum that reward behaviors such as obedience and docility required in their parent’s workplace. They are nurtured to be robots without any individual perspective. Even the assignments they are given attest to this truth. They are procedural hardly engaging the students’ cognitive faculties. The teacher’s most utilized teaching technique is dictation. The teachers may even go a step further and divert from the assigned course text giving their own examples. At times, the teachers have good intentions and believe that they ought to employ analogies that the class will follow easily. Unknowingly, they condition a student to a narrow worldview. The teacher does not encourage class discussions or find opportunities to develop decision-making skills. The emphasis is strictly on repetition exercises and adherence to instructions. The passive learning inhibits the students’ creative potential.

In the Middle class school there is a graduation from the procedural by incorporation of an aspect of choice, the students are relatively more self-aware. However, the emphasis is laid on the end neglecting the means. Regardless the cognitive process one employs, arriving at the correct answer is very crucial. The teacher neither relates the course text to real life nor questions the authenticity of the content. It is embraced as an established truth.  Similarly, they are tested according to their adherence to these truths. Majority of their work was involved copying concepts from one point to another without changing them. The teacher does not relate the lessons to the students’ passions. It follows that still here the work are chores that are mechanically done. The focus remains on presentation of the work, the neatness and its structure.

In the affluent professional school, the learning processes are interactive engaging the students. Though arriving at correct conclusions is important the emphasis in on whether concept has been understood and can be replicated in another setting while maintaining its integrity. The students are made aware of their individual differences and the corresponding uniqueness of their creative attributes. It follows that they teacher ranks the students according to their designs. Their assignments are aimed to condense abstract concepts into concrete realities. It follows that the learning process does not end in class. They are encouraged to be students of culture and history. They are able to hone the talents in class during projects. Subsequently, the students value their work.

In Executive elite schools, the teaching staff aspires to foster independence and analytical thinking in the students. The teacher deliberately looks for every opportunity to nurture the decision-making skill in the students. The students are taught to questions truths by breaking them down into their constituent concepts and analyzing them. Their confidence is built by encouraging them to disagree with the teacher and their fellow classmates. Rather than attempt to control the students, the teacher uses the opportunity to teach them responsibility that accompanies authority. They are taught that their success is an individual choice. The children are taught the importance of impression management implying those with real power have nothing to prove. It follows that rebellion is perceived as a sign of low self-esteem.

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