Murray Lundberg Photography

Return to the Home Page The ExploreNorth Blog Contact ExploreNorth

    Site search
    Web search

Yukon College Papers by Murray Lundberg, 1993-1994

Hidden curriculum

Murray Lundberg

Sociology 100
Yukon College
Winter 1993


    "Hidden curriculum" refers to the things you are taught at school aside from what's in your textbooks and notes.

    Reflect upon your own experience "in the system," and discuss some of the hidden curricula to which you've been exposed.

    (Note: "curriculum" is singular; "curricula" is plural.]


    The most blatant, memorable, and destructive (or counter productive at least) occurred in high school. The worst was Mr. Johnson's manifesto to show us how "guys" acted. Three years with that agressive red-neck in P.E. became a one-on-one battle between us. His favourite term of encouragement was "You're a sissy - maybe we should see if the girls team wants you. I quit going to classes tha included team activities or "brain-dead" activities (running laps, etc). I "failed" PE, but he "failed" in his mission to make a "real man" of me.

    The 60s were a period of having Quebec shoved down our throats. A trip to Quebec in 1966 convinced me that Quebecers were not Canadians and I refused to take part in French classes. Mrs. Davidson passed me (barely) in the first 2 years, but when many hours of "counselling" failed to make me admit to my "wrong" thinking, I failed French, too.

    The third part of the hidden curricula was the requirement to sort out the brightest. I can't count the times I heard "We know you can do better - we have your IQ results." It never occurred to them that I did very well in courses that I found relevant - forestry, geography, math, social studies. But I refused to follow their agenda, so I failed high school (it has occurred to some people that high school failed me). A GED test 7 years later got me my "badge of ability," though.

Instructor's comments:

    Interesting experiences!

See a pdf of the paper.