Observation Report: Hidden Curriculum

Essay by silvermystMiddle School, 6th gradeA, March 2006

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Hidden curriculum throughout the educational community can be seen in every aspect of the school. It is a gateway into the cognitive minds of the student population. It is used as a nonverbal tool that extends educational information and values into the minds of students. During this observation I became aware of the ways in which teachers and administration practice the use of hidden messages in their educational facility.

My first observation was at a middle school called McLane Middle. The school was medium sized. The architectural design was circular with two rectangular buildings on the side. The landscaping was pretty simple with grass patches here and there and a circular walkway in the middle of the building's design. The interior walls were scuffed and scraped as if the children ran wild in-between classes. The bathrooms were slightly messy and could have been sanitized better. Despite the minute unattractive appearance, the school exuded a comfortable and fun atmosphere.

After gaining my first impressions of the quality of the structure, I then moved on to explore the inside of the school.

I began my research by taking a tour of the entire interior and exterior areas of the school in anticipation of some sort of insight into their hidden curriculum. I started at the front office and decided to do a full loop around the school. I realized from the first few steps into the building that hidden messages were being sent. The walls of the front office hallway were filled with posters with inspirational quotes written on them by the students. I saw posters that said, "Anti-Drugs" "If You Use, You Lose", indicating a strong message to steer clear from drugs. These concepts are imperative to teach young children as they will most likely be faced with situations in which...