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Chapter 8 The Informal System and The "Hidden Curriculum"

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Keadra Benford

on 30 April 2014

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Transcript of Chapter 8 The Informal System and The "Hidden Curriculum"

The Open Systems Approach and The Informal System
Reproduction Theory and the Informal System-
The reproduction of the social class of students
1. The
working-class school
stressed following the steps of a procedure, mechanically, with little decision making, choice, or explanation why it is done a particular way. Grading is based on following procedures.

2. The
middle-class school
stressed getting the right answer. There is some figuring and choice making.

3. The
affluent professional school
stresses creative activity carried out independently

4. The
executive elite school
stress developing analytical intellectual powers, reasoning through problems and conceptualizing rules.
Hidden curriculum, not so hidden
Report cards
Students are taught early how to behavior in the classroom and in society
Cooperative students are a must
Anyon and others have pointed out, not all schools are alike in the real academic and behavioral expectation they have of students.
Schools serving more affluent students create environments for those children that can be vastly different from the environments of schools serving poor students.

Chapter 8
The Informal System and The Hidden Curriculum
Hidden Curriculum
– The name
Hidden Curriculum
was coined by
Philip Jackson
in 1968.
Snyder (1971) refers to the "implicit demands" that are found in every learning institution and which students have to find out and respond to in order to survive within it.
Important elements of the hidden curriculum has been found in higher educational settings also (Margolis, 2001)

The internal system of the school has both a formal part, consisting of roles and structure, and an informal aspect.

Under the organized, structured curriculum lies the “Hidden Curriculum” consisting of the three Rs: RULES, ROUTINES, AND REGULATIONS

Preview of chapter
The hidden curriculum and reproduction theories
Pedagogical “codes”
Educational climate and effective schools
Peer cultures and peer-group influences
The school as an informal agent of socialization
Power dynamics in the school
Student and teacher coping mechanisms

Lubeck (1984)
reports on early childhood Education
The importance of time and space to transmit adult values

Differences between Head Start and other child care settings

Head Start(low income) is more controlled for children

Other child care settings(paid) tend to let the children have more control and “say so”

Report Cards
Report cards in earlier grades are
assessments of the child’s “work habits and behaviors” and include individual grades for categories such as:
Works well independently
Is organized
Puts forth good effort
Talks at appropriate times
Completes work on time
Completes homework
Expresses ideas clearly
Participates in class discussions
Shows respect for others
Works and plays well with others
Follows classroom and school rules
Listens attentively
The Educational "Climate" and
School Effectiveness

The school climates and Effective Schools-
The schools environment and atmosphere.

School Culture –
a part of the school climate. Consist of values, attitudes, beliefs, norms, and customs of those making up the system. Includes rituals and ceremonies.

School Learning Climate-
The normative attitudinal and behavioral patterns in which impact on the level of academic achievement of the student body as a whole: Teacher expectations, and academic norms.
Classroom Learning Climate
- Routines imposed on students in classrooms in order to maintain control and discipline. Classroom climate can produce anti-school feelings or it can create students who are motivated toward self improvement, academic success, and enjoyment of learning.

Classroom Codes: Interaction In The Classroom
Messages concerning expectations , power relations,
and attitudes towards others and the learning process are passed through verbal and nonverbal cues.

Teaching styles:
1. Authoritarian
- formal power is vested and used by the teacher
2. Democratic
– students are involved in the decision making that affects classroom activities
3. Laissez-faire
- there is general freedom in the classroom

Basil Bernstein(1996) was concerned with the formal and informal processes that take place in classrooms.

He argued that these classroom dynamics lead to the social reproduction of class.
Classrooms, he contended have interaction “codes”– rules, practices, and agencies regulating communication that determine the distribution of power.
refers to a “regulative principle which underlies various message systems, especially curriculum and pedagogy.”
refers to the means of transmission of knowledge, the activities in which students and teacher engage to master the context of the lessons, usually through structured curricula.

Traditional school report cards contained
a section for teachers to record individual comments about the student’s work and behavior.

“puts forth good effort; completes work on time; shows respect of others; follows classroom and school rules; talks at appropriate time; expresses ideas clearly; participates in class discussion.”

Educational “Climate”
“Climate refers to a general social condition that characterizes a group, organization, or community, such as the general opinion in a community”

What is “The Value Climate”
Each major research project concerned with
the value climate has include slightly different research questions, variables, methods, and settings, resulting in conclusions that are often diverse and even contradictory.

So How does “value” climate form:
Schools teach more than reading, writing, and arithmetic. Both the formal and informal organization include lessons in values and morals.

consists of values, beliefs, norms, and customs of  those making up the system.
to bring about a group feeling of loyalty:
pep rallies, cheering at athletic events, assemblies, singing – constitute ceremonies common to most schools (but it is unique).
norms in both school and a larger culture encourages the distance between teachers and students.
teachers represent the culture of the adult society and the dominant group
– students have more limited cultural boundary centered on age
- per group, school and local community .
teachers are considered ‘different’ by students .
students make their own culture, which is passed on to each new generation entering the school which involves language, dress, humor, music, games and hazing
School Culture
consists of 5 parts:
1- Classroom Codes: Interaction in the classroom.

2- Student friendship and interaction patterns in classroom.

3- Seating arrangements & Physical conditions in
classrooms and schools.

4- Size of school and classroom.

 5- Architecture of schools.

Student Friendship and Interaction Patterns in the classroom
Who the students hang out with in the class rooms
Peer social status and friendships do not necessarily go hand in hand

Some rejected, neglected children have friends, and some popular students don't.
Student friendship patterns and interactions vary depending on whether the classroom is structured in an open or a traditional manner.
Open, flexible and democratic

classrooms stress the affective or emotional growth of students
Traditional classrooms

are teacher centered and often stress learning the basics

Seating Arrangements in the classroom
The location of a students seat affects both that
students behavior and the teaches attitude toward the student.
Students focus better on individual tasks when they are in rows.
Some tasks, can be performed on sofas with effective room decor, such as popular posters, which can create an optimal learning environment.
Example: group projects
Researchers found that the most important factors affecting student performance & achievement were the thermal environment, lighting, adequate space, and equipment & furnishings, especially in science education.

Size of school and classroom
One assumes that ‘smaller is better’ in
the classroom – that smaller class meant fewer problems, more interaction & communication between teachers and students. Students can play a more active role in school life, and interact more informally with teachers & administrators in smaller schools.

Percentage of participation decreased with increased size of the school.
Certain types of activities, such as hobby clubs, can increase in size to include any number, but other activities-athletic teams, music & drama-are inelastic; students attending larger schools are at a disadvantage because a smaller percentage of the school population can participate.
Power Dynamics and Roles in
The Informal System
Theoretical Explanation of Power Dynamics
in the Classroom:
Prepares students for societal roles
Achievement, obedience , and cooperation are important parts of the classroom system.
Functional theorists

emphasize the consensus resulting from the socialization function of the classroom as it prepares students for societal roles.
Conflict theorists
have other interpretations of classroom dynamic. They see a power struggle between school staff, representing the dominant group and values of the adult world, and students, who must be controlled, coerced and cooped using a variety of strategies.
Interactionist perspective,
each member of the class has a distinctive perception of the world of the classroom.

Power Dynamics and Roles in
The Informal System (cont.)
Teacher Strategies and the Informal System:

The entire range of teachers are planning, managing, and monitoring of student learning activities and behavior
-The philosophy of the teacher and school, the organization of school and classroom, available resources, number of students, and their interest level– all affect the goals and strategies of teachers.
Martyn Hammersley and Peter Woods outling several alternative techniques or strategies that may be use by teachers to deal with classes:

Decision Making in the Classroom
the teacher’s role is the primary decision maker in the classroom.
-Most of the teachers decision-making behavior is almost instinctive based on experience.
Teachers also have decision-making strategies,
conscious or unconscious.

You have to understand the informal
system in schools, in order to understand the processes taking place there and in classrooms.

Does physical conditions
affect the performance and behavior of students?

Size of school and Classroom-
Does smaller schools and smaller classes enhance learning and performance? .
Full transcript