The samples examined were two working-class schools, one middle-class school, one affluent professional school, and one executive elite school. Everything is planned out by the teachers and instructions are always written as lists. He says the teachers give minimal examples or connections, no reasons for why the work is important, and no in depth discussion. He describes the teachers as controlling and even rude to the students. He also states that if students do not understand something, the teachers make no attempt to reiterate or explain differently in a way the students understand. The next school he talks about is the middle-class school.
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It may be shocking, however, to learn how vast the differences in schools are - not so much in resources as in teaching methods and philosophies of education.
Jean Anyon observed five elementary schools over the course of a full school year and concluded that fifth-graders of different economic backgrounds are already being prepared to occupy particular rungs on the social ladder. In a sense, some whole schools are on the vocational education track, while others are geared to produce future doctors, lawyers, and business leaders.
Scholars in political economy and the sociology of knowledge have recently argued that public schools in complex industrial societies like our own make available different types of educational experience and curriculum knowledge to students in different social classes. Bowles and Gintis1 for example, have argued that students in different social-class backgrounds are rewarded for classroom behaviors that correspond to personality traits allegedly rewarded in the different occupational strata--the working classes for docility and obedience, the managerial classes for initiative and personal assertiveness.
Apple focusing on school knowledge, have argued that knowledge and skills leading to social power and regard medical, legal, managerial are made available to the advantaged social groups but are withheld from the working classes to whom a more "practical" curriculum is offered manual skills, clerical knowledge.
While there has been considerable argumentation of these points regarding education in England, France, and North America, there has been little or no attempt to investigate these ideas empirically in elementary or secondary schools and classrooms in this country. The examples were gathered as part of an ethnographical4 study of curricular, pedagogical, and pupil evaluation practices in five elementary schools. The article attempts a theoretical contribution as well and assesses student work in the light of a theoretical approach to social-class analysis..
It will be suggested that there is a "hidden curriculum" in schoolwork that has profound implications for the theory - and consequence - of everyday activity in education The Sample of Schools The social-class designation of each of the five schools will be identified, and the income, occupation, and other relevant available social characteristics of the students and their parents will be described.
The first three schools are in a medium-sized city district in northern New Jersey, and the other two are in a nearby New Jersey suburb. The first two schools I will call working class schools. Most of the parents have blue-collar jobs. Less than a third of the fathers are skilled, while the majority are in unskilled or semiskilled jobs. During the period of the study , approximately 15 percent of the fathers were unemployed.
The large majority 85 percent of the families are white. The following occupations are typical: platform, storeroom, and stockroom workers; foundry-men, pipe welders, and boilermakers; semiskilled and unskilled assembly-line operatives; gas station attendants, auto mechanics, maintenance workers, and security guards.
Less than 30 percent of the women work, some part-time and some full-time, on assembly lines, in storerooms and stockrooms, as waitresses, barmaids, or sales clerks. Of the fifth-grade parents, none of the wives of the skilled workers had jobs. The third group is composed of occupations such as personnel directors in local firms, accountants, "middle management," and a few small capitalists owners of shops in the area.
The children of several local doctors attend this school. This income range is typical of This school will be called the affluent professional school. Typical jobs are: cardiologist, interior designer, corporate lawyer or engineer, executive in advertising or television. In addition, a few of the families are more affluent than the majority and can be classified in the capitalist class a partner in a prestigious Wall Street stock brokerage firm. Approximately 90 percent of the children in this school are white.
This income span represents approximately 7 percent of the families in the United States. A sizable group of fathers are top executives in financial firms in Wall Street. There are also a number of fathers who list their occupations as "general counsel" to a particular corporation, and these corporations are also among the large multi-nationals. Many of the mothers do volunteer work in the Junior League, Junior Fortnightly, or other service groups; some are intricately involved in town politics; and some are themselves in well-paid occupations.
There are no minority children in the school. The incomes in this school represent less than 1 percent of the families in the United States. However, the examples of schoolwork which follow will suggest characteristics of education in each social setting that appear to have theoretical and social significance and to be worth investigation in a larger number of schools.
The Working Class Schools In the two working-class schools, work is following the steps of a procedure. The procedure is usually mechanical, involving rote behavior and very little decision making or choice. The teachers rarely explain why the work is being assigned, how it might connect to other assignments, or what the idea is that lies behind the procedure or gives it coherence and perhaps meaning or significance.
Available textbooks are not always used, and the teachers often prepare their own dittos or put work examples on the board. Most of the rules regarding work are designations of what the children are to do; the rules are steps to follow. These steps are told to the children by the teachers and are often written on the board. The children are usually told to copy the steps as notes. These notes are to be studied. Work is often evaluated not according to whether it is right or wrong but according to whether the children followed the right steps.
The following examples illustrate these points. In math, when two-digit division was introduced, the teacher in one school gave a four-minute lecture on what the terms are called which number is the divisor, dividend, quotient, and remainder. The children were told to copy these names in their notebooks. Then the teacher told them the steps to follow to do the problems, saying, "This is how you do them.
When the teacher went over the examples with them, he told them what the procedure was for each problem, rarely asking them to conceptualize or explain it themselves: "Three into twenty-two is seven; do your subtraction and one is left over.
Nor was there any attempt to relate the steps to an actual or possible thought process of the children. The observer did not hear the terms dividend, quotient, and so on, used again. The math teacher in the other working-class school followed similar procedures regarding two-digit division and at one point her class seemed confused.
Rather, she went over the steps with them again and told them that they "needed more practice. For example, one of the teachers led the children through a series of steps to make a 1-inch grid on their paper without telling them that they were making a 1-inch grid or that it would be used to study scale. She said, "Take your ruler. Put it across the top. Make a mark at every number. Then move your ruler down to the bottom.
No, put it across the bottom. Now make a mark on top of every number. Now draw a line from Then they were to cut it out.
The investigator heard no classroom discussion of the aural context of punctuation which, of course, is what gives each mark its meaning. Rather, the children were told to follow the rules. Language arts did not involve creative writing. There were several writing assignments throughout the year but in each instance the children were given a ditto, and they wrote answers to questions on the sheet.
For example, they wrote their "autobiography" by answering such questions as "Where were you born? On the three occasions observed, the children were not called upon to set up experiments or to give explanations for facts or concepts. Rather, on each occasion the teacher told them in his own words what the book said. Each day that preceded the day they were to do a science experiment, the teacher told them to copy the directions from the book for the procedure they would carry out the next day and to study the list at home that night.
The day after each experiment, the teacher went over what they had "found" they did the experiments as a class, and each was actually a class demonstration led by the teacher.
Then the teacher wrote what they "found" on the board, and the children copied that in their notebooks. Once or twice a year there are science projects. The project is chosen and assigned by the teacher from a box of 3-byinch cards.
On the card the teacher has written the question to he answered, the books to use, and how much to write. Several times a week for a period of several months the children copied these notes. The fifth grades in the district were to study United States history. The teacher used a booklet she had purchased called "The Fabulous Fifty States. The type of information did not vary: the name of the state, its abbreviation, state capital, nickname of the state, its main products, main business, and a "Fabulous Fact" "Idaho grew twenty-seven billion potatoes in one year.
Children would occasionally go to the front to pull down the wall map in order to locate the states they were copying, and the teacher did not dissuade them. But the observer never saw her refer to the map; nor did the observer ever hear her make other than perfunctory remarks concerning the information the children were copying. Occasionally the children colored in a ditto and cut it out to make a stand-up figure representing, for example, a man roping a cow in the Southwest.
These were referred to by the teacher as their social studies "projects. When going over 15 math and language art skills sheets, for example, as the teacher asked for the answer to each problem, he fired the questions rapidly, staccato, and the scene reminded the observer of a sergeant drilling recruits: above all, the questions demanded that you stay at attention: "The next one?
What do I put here?. Give us the next. Where do I put them. The next one? Teachers, for instance, very often ignored the bells to switch classes - deciding among themselves to keep the children after the period was officially over to continue with the work or for disciplinary reasons or so they the teachers could stand in the hall and talk.
There were no clocks in the rooms in either school, and the children often asked, "What period is this? These were handed out by teachers and closely guarded. Things in the room "belonged" to the teacher: "Bob, bring me my garbage can. Middle-Class School In the middle-class school, work is getting the right answer. If one accumulates enough right answers, one gets a good grade. One must follow the directions in order to get the right answers, but the directions often call for some figuring, some choice, some decision making.
For example, the children must often figure out by themselves what the directions ask them to do and how to get the answer: what do you do first, second, and perhaps third? Answers are usually found in books or by listening to the teacher. Answers are usually words, sentences, numbers, or facts and dates; one writes them on paper, and one should be neat. Answers must be given in the right order, and one cannot make them up.
Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum Essay
It may be shocking, however, to learn how vast the differences in schools are - not so much in resources as in teaching methods and philosophies of education. Jean Anyon observed five elementary schools over the course of a full school year and concluded that fifth-graders of different economic backgrounds are already being prepared to occupy particular rungs on the social ladder. In a sense, some whole schools are on the vocational education track, while others are geared to produce future doctors, lawyers, and business leaders. Scholars in political economy and the sociology of knowledge have recently argued that public schools in complex industrial societies like our own make available different types of educational experience and curriculum knowledge to students in different social classes. Bowles and Gintis1 for example, have argued that students in different social-class backgrounds are rewarded for classroom behaviors that correspond to personality traits allegedly rewarded in the different occupational strata--the working classes for docility and obedience, the managerial classes for initiative and personal assertiveness.
Social Class And The Hidden Curriculum Of Work By Jean Anyon
Fill in your answers and post your final draft as an attachment to your Individual forum. The portion of the population who suffers the most from the lack of a stable incomeor other economic resources People at the low end of the wage scale are the working poor. The focus on student achievement, classroom management, and relationships within the school setting are three aspects that impact student achievement. School leaders must use strategies to ensure that the district emphasizes academic achievement as their top priority.