Friday, April 9, 2010

"Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work" Anyon

I thought this article was very interesting to read and I have certainly experienced many of the points made in the article throughout my own schooling experience. Although I have only went to working and middle class schools, I think the same patterns can be observed within one school. In my high school, we had the low level classes, college prep classes, and high honors classes, as well as a few AP classes. The working class schools described in the article can be compared to the low-level classes at any given school and so on.....

"...the working classes for docility and obedience, the managerial classes for initiative and personal assertiveness".
This statement is certainly true, according to my own experience. Most of the low level classes that I observed from day to day at my high school focused heavily on discipline. The kids in those classes cared about discipline more than anything else, and talked about disciple much more than school work. They always seemed to feel like they were going to get in trouble. I never felt like I was threatened with "getting in trouble", and it was strange to me that they had those kinds of attitudes. I always felt like I was able to negotiate with teachers and explain to them the situation, even if I had done something wrong. And even if I did not have a good excuse, I did not blame everything on the administration, like the kids in low-level classes often did. It seems like to them, school was a policing agent that was always on their case...One of the quotes said that "The teacher's control thus often seemed capricious", and I have certainly observed that kind of attitude from the kids in the low-level classes. In the honors classes, on the other hand, every student expected the rules to be logical and necessary, which they usually were.

"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."
This is certainly true in low level and even college prep courses. They are often not very analytical and require very little essay writing. Most of the honors courses required many analytical essays throughout the year.

"Work tasks do not usually request creativity. Serious attention is rarely given in school work on how the children develop or express their own feelings and ideas, either linguistically or in graphic form. On the occasions when creativity or self-expression is requested, it is peripheral to the main activity or it is "enriched" or "for fun."
Although the creative approach is better than the approach of the working class schools, I often find that teacher's do not develop effective creative assignments. Most of the time, creative assignments are "just for fun". Most of the time, I thought the assignments were stupid, useless, and redundant. They often do not teach you anything new. They are often just for the sake of "creativity", just so the teacher can say he or she have added a creative component to their lesson plan. In my experience, I have had few well constructed creative assignments. Maybe its an area in which teachers need more expertise.

"Even if you don't know [the answers], if you think logically about it, you can figure it out."
This was certainly the attitude in my AP classes and most of my honors classes. Work was very independent. You were trained in analytical thinking. Connections, analysis, and independent learning were driving the class.
Here's another article I read on the topic of Social Class and schools


  1. Yana, I liked the article you linked too. Of course the table was interesting but I wish they included the education of the households as well.

  2. Yana, very interesting article that you linked up/