Week 8: Social Identity and School Systems: Hidden Curriculum and Reproduction Theory

3 things I learned

  1. Factory model in education – Ken Robinson

Robinson talked about factory model in education system, where students are ‘produced’ by following a certain instruction to contribute to the society. What it means by ‘contribute’ is to become a responsible citizen that is actively participating in the economic/social systems in a society. Ultimately, this lacks the divergent thinking, as students lose ability to see lots of possible questions/answers.


  1. Reproduction theory

This criticize liberal notion that schools create equal opportunities for all students. In this theory, school is a place to ‘reproduce’ the status quo to maintain the current social, economic and cultural circumstances as well as power relations/authorities. It suggests an assumption that if you are poor going into school, you are less likely to succeed in school, therefore you are more likely to stay poor. To me, this theory seems that students’ possibilities are determined by one’s certain conditions/backgrounds, hence one being successful in his/her life gets already estimated by external factors without consideration of their effort/interest/willingness, etc.


  1. Silenced dialogue

Created by Lisa Deplit in 1988, talking about the issues of power that are enacted in the classroom and how they relate to a culture of power. The culture of power indicates codes/rules that act or participates in culture. The rules of the culture power reflect the culture of those who have power, and those with power are often least aware of its existence. Therefore, those who are privileged are the ones with power


2 connections

  1. First connection I made has to do with how culture is embedded into the classroom and in the ‘hidden curriculum’. From what I have experienced throughout my schooling, even though it was completed in South Korea, the European culture and ideologies are strongly embedded into the classrooms and in the way we learn and teach the contexts. This ideology and way of living and thinking continue to be a mainstream, dominant discourse within our society and our schools. However, when looking at the Canadian society nowadays, I think that the classroom is beginning to represent diversity more than ever, and trying to adopt the idea of multiculturalism. With this thought, I hope to become a teacher who recognizes the hidden curriculum and knows how to achieve more inclusive classroom by embracing any diversities in my students.


  1. Another connection I made was about the discourse we had in the class that without realizing, teachers and administrators coming in with bias already. I realized that the school/curriculum expects children to arrive in the classroom with a basic set of skills and knowledge. However, I think that we, as educators, need to recognize that not every child shares the same background, hence it is possible for them to come with different level/area of knowledge, so that we can meet the different needs of students accordingly.



How can we as teachers unlearn the hidden curriculum? What would be the examples of the biases that are embedded in teachers/administrators/school systems without even realizing it? How can we avoid it?


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