Teaching Strategies and the ‘Hidden Curriculum’: Bringing Assumptions into the Light


The concept of the “Hidden Curriculum” and the overlapping concept of an “Implicit Curriculum” have been gaining attention in recent years. The implicit or hidden curriculum refers to the unspoken assumptions–whether implemented consciously or not–that commonly inform all aspects of education. These assumptions can involve embedded cultural expectations or values, the topics included or left off the explicit curriculum, the structure of the educational institution itself, and which teaching strategies and classroom structures are used. A more complete overview of the hidden curriculum can be found in The Glossary of Education Reform listing on the topic: https://www.edglossary.org/hidden-curriculum/. In this short presentation meant to spur engagement and introspection, I uncover the assumptions around some common teaching and grading strategies. Are we grading on a scale based on students’ grades, thereby reinforcing the notion that some must do badly in order for others to do well? Does our attendance policy reward compliance to authority over students’ mental or physical well-being? What messages do we send by how we dress? What other lessons are we imparting to our students without our awareness?


Kevin Block Schwenk
Associate Professor, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Berklee College of Music, Massachusetts, United States


Presentation Type

Poster Session


Pedagogy and Curriculum


Assumptions, Implicit, Hidden, Curriculum

Digital Media


Teaching Strategies and the ‘Hidden Curriculum’ (pptx)