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Values education and the hidden curriculum.

by Mark Halstead, Jiamei Xiao
International research handbook on values education and student wellbeing. ()
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(from the chapter) This chapter focuses on just one aspect of the hidden curriculum—the informal learning that goes on in schools, especially in the domain of values and attitudes, as a result of structured activities like registration, assemblies, grouping strategies and classroom organization and responsive activities mainly concerned with keeping order, like rewards and sanctions. If we think of lessons as the bricks which make up the wall of the curriculum, the focus of attention in this chapter is on the cement that holds the bricks together. Even though these classroom rules, routines, rituals and relationships have long been acknowledged as educationally significant in terms of school culture (Jackson, 1968), and as a sign of social control (Bernstein, Elivn, & Peters, 1966), children's experiences of and responses to these structured and responsive activities have not been adequately studied in their own right. Indeed, children's experiences of everyday schooling are largely invisible in educational research or else limited to incidental references in traditional disciplinary inquiries into teaching and learning, educational management or the curriculum. The research reported in this chapter seeks to address this imbalance by focusing on children's experiences of school rituals, collective activities and classroom management; on children's own perspectives and understandings of the taken-for-granted routines of school life; and on what children learn from these things (such as how to please the teacher, how to cope with boredom, how to decide whether to obey the teacher or not and how to reflect on what they experience). What the research aims to do is understand children's perspectives, use their own language and see their experiences and their learning through their own eyes. What it achieves is to identify some of the complexity in the processes of learning values. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (chapter)

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