ERIC Number: ED460663
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Is There a Hidden Curriculum in Higher Education Doctoral Programs?
Townsend, Barbara K.
Although the concept of hidden curriculum has been a popular one in writings about K-12 public education, it has not been much applied to higher education doctoral programs. D. Peters and M. Peterson (1987) have discussed the possibility of a hidden curriculum in higher education, focusing on hidden curriculum as unofficial expectations, unintended learning outcomes, implicit messages, or as a curriculum created by the students. Intriguing as the idea of curriculum created by students is, this paper focuses on two aspects of hidden curriculum: unintended learning outcomes or messages of the formal curriculum and implicit messages arising from the structure of schooling. The curriculum in most higher education programs probably reflects a preponderance of works by white male scholars. This results in the unintended message that knowledge created by and about women and people of color is not important. Certain structural elements of a program results in a hidden curriculum that faculty unconsciously teach and students unconsciously learn. These include the social structure of the classroom, the teacher's exercise of authority, the rules governing the relationship between teacher and student, standard learning activities, and structural barriers in the institution. Faculty members or administrators who uncover the hidden curriculum in their current programs can determine if what the hidden curriculum teaches is what they want students to know. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (20th, Orlando, FL, November 2-5, 1995).