Paraeducator VideoConference Series 2009-2010
The Hidden Curriculum:
What Is It and Why Should I Teach It?
Allegheny Intermediate Unit
Training and Consultation
Adapted from,
Tina Lawson
Donna Salkin
Pattan
Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network
PaTTAN’s Mission
The Pennsylvania Training and
Technical Assistance Network is an
initiative of the Pennsylvania
Department of Education working in
partnership with families and local
education agencies to support
programs and services to improve
student learning and achievement.
PDE’s Commitment to Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
Recognizing that the placement
decision is an Individualized
Education Program (IEP) team
decision, our goal for each child is to
ensure IEP teams begin with the
general education setting with the
use of supplementary aids and
services before considering a more
restrictive environment.
Local Policy
Your local school district, IU,
preschool or employing agency’s
policies regarding paraeducator job
descriptions, duties, and responsibilities
provide the final word!
AGENDA
 Welcome
 The Hidden Curriculum
 Identifying the Hidden
Curriculum
 Strategies for Teaching the
Hidden Curriculum
Learner Outcomes
Participants will:
• Define the hidden curriculum
• Name an environment in which the hidden
curriculum operates
• List 3 strategies for helping students to
understand the hidden curriculum
Hidden Curriculum
A term used to describe the unwritten rules and
expectations of behavior that we all seem to
know, but were never taught
Bieber, 1994
The Hidden Curriculum
What are some social skills that students just
seem to learn without being taught?
Hidden Curriculum
When you’re ready to say:
•
•
•
•
I shouldn’t have to tell you…
Everyone knows that…
Common sense tells us…
It should be obvious that…
Myles, 2004, with permission
Hidden Curriculum
• When your teacher gives you a warning about
behavior and you continue the behavior, you
are probably going to get into trouble.
• Do not tell other students they smell and they
need to wear deodorant.
Hidden Curriculum
• Just because the bell rang, that doesn’t
mean the teacher is finished teaching.
• If a classmate tells you to do something
that might get you in trouble, tell them
to do it themselves.
Hidden Curriculum
• When a teacher tells another student to stop
talking, it’s not a good idea to start talking.
• When you hear another person using
incorrect grammar, do not correct every
time.
Hidden Curriculum
• Different teachers have different rules.
• When another child is getting in trouble, it’s
not a good time to show the teacher
something.
• Do not draw violent scenes at school.
Hidden Curriculum
• When you are taking a shower in a group
setting, do not sustain eye contact or watch
other people.
• When you are with classmates or coworkers,
do not pick your nose, pass gas, or scratch a
private body part.
The Hidden Curriculum
Can include words:
• Shut up
• Fat
• Take your time
What other words or phrases
might have two meanings?
The Hidden Curriculum
Can also include body language:
•
•
•
•
Smiles
Frowns
Eye rolling
Finger pointing
What other body language
might students have to read?
Hidden Curriculum
Differs across:
• Age
• Gender
• People
• Cultures
What are some other examples
of the Hidden Curriculum?
Hidden Curriculum
What most students just “know” in the
first few days of school, you may have
to teach
• What is cool to wear and what
is a “no no”
• Which teachers allow gum
chewing
• When you can curse!
What else might you have to teach?
Does this person need instruction in the hidden
curriculum?
The Hidden Curriculum
•
•
•
•
•
Gym
Church/synagogue/mosque
Funeral Home
School assembly
Police Station
ACTIVITY
Does this person need instruction in the hidden
curriculum?
Hidden Curriculum
Eating:
• Chew with your mouth closed
• Keep your food in your mouth
• Put your napkin on your lap, not under your chin
• Do not eat someone else’s food without asking
• Don’t blow your nose in the napkin
• Do not put ketchup on everything…it may gross out
others
• Burping out loud is not nice
Teaching the Hidden Curriculum
Before teaching begins:
• Assess the environment
• List the expectations
• Decide what information the student needs to
learn
• Identify situations that may alter the
environment
• Devise a method for teaching the skill
Teaching the Hidden Curriculum
Teacher-Pleasing behaviors:
• Expectations
• Pleasing behavior
• Likes and dislikes
• A look “might mean: time to work, or that’s
correct, or I am not pleased, etc”
• Each teacher will have different characteristics
Does this person need instruction in the hidden
curriculum?
Teaching the Hidden Curriculum
Social skills must be:
• taught in a direct and explicit manner just like
you teach academic skills
• practiced just like you practice your golf
swing!
Teaching the Hidden Curriculum
REMEMBER:
If you are ready to discipline a
student for a social error…
ASK YOURSELF:
Have I taught and practiced the
skill the student needs?
_____________ is from the Greek
word meaning ___________!
A Social Skill Lesson
Teaching the Hidden Curriculum
SAFE PERSON
• Understands the student’s characteristics and
perspective
• Respects the student and can listen without
interrupting and judging
• Knows when to listen and when to offer
advice
• Understands triggers that can lead to a
meltdown
Brenda Smith Myles 2004
Teaching the Hidden Curriculum
Teach phrases that will get students
the information they need from the
Safe Person:
• What does_______mean?
• Help me understand….
• When (person) says/does
_____, what do they mean?
• Show me a better way to…
Teaching the Hidden Curriculum
SOLVE Strategy
S
Seek
O
Observe
L
Listen
V
Vocalize
E
Educate
Seek to understand all aspects of
the Hidden Curriculum
Observe what people are doing and
NOT doing
Listen to what people are saying
and NOT saying
Vocalize…ask questions, check for
understanding
Educate…teach and learn
Knowledge is power!
Myles, 2004, with permission
Does this person need instruction in the hidden
curriculum?
Teaching the Hidden Curriculum
Clothing
• Generally, pajamas should not be worn
outside
• When you are in public, go to the bathroom
to adjust your underclothing
• Do not take off your clothes in public no
matter how hot you are
Teaching the Hidden Curriculum
Power Card Strategy
Script
• Brief scenario written at the child’s
comprehension level using a favorite hero or
special interest
Power Card
• A business or trading card containing a picture
of the special interest and solution to the
problem
Teaching the Hidden Curriculum
Chef Jean-Paul wants you to choose one of
the following ways to help calm yourself:
1. Take 5 deep breaths, exhaling slowly after each
breath.
2. Close your eyes and slowly count from
1-20.
3. Listen to your favorite CD with your
headphones on.
4. Go to a quiet place and look
at cooking magazines.
Power Card Lesson
Teaching the Hidden Curriculum
The Incredible 5 Point Scale
Name
Rating
Looks like
Feels like
I can try
5
4
3
2
1
Buron, K.D. & Curtus,M. (2004)
Teaching the Hidden Curriculum
The Incredible 5 Point Scale
Name
Rating
Looks like
Feels like
I can try
5
Kicking or hitting
My head will probably
explode
Call my mom
go home
4
3
Screaming and
almost hitting
Nervous
Go to see Mr.
Peterson
Quiet sometime
rude talk
Bad mood or grumpy
Stay away from
other kids
2
Regular kid
not weird
Good
Enjoy it while it
lasts
1
Playing hockey
A million bucks
Stay that way
Buron, K.D. & Curtus,M. (2004)
Teaching the Hidden Curriculum
The Incredible 5 Point Scale
5
4
3
2
1
I NEED TO LEAVE
I NEED SOME SPACE
PLEASE DO NOT TALK TO ME
I AM A LITTLE NERVOUS
I CAN HANDLE THIS!
Buron, K.D. & Curtus,M. (2004)
Hidden Curriculum References
• Buron, K.D. & Curtus,M. (2004). The Incredible 5-Point Scale: Assisting
student s with autism spectrum disorders in understanding social
interactions and controlling their emotions. Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism
Asperger Publishing Company.
• Gagnon, E. (2001) The Power Card Strategy: Using Special Interests to
Motivate Children and Youth with Aspergers Syndrome. Shawnee Mission,
KS: Autism Asperger Publishing Company.
• Myles, B.S.,Trautman, M.L., &Schelvan, R.L. (2004). The Hidden
Curriculum: Practical Solutions for Understanding Unstated Rules in Social
Situations.
• Winner, Michelle Garcia. (2002) Thinking About You Thinking Thinking
About Me. San Jose, CA: Michelle G. Winner Publisher.
Outcomes
Participants will:
• Define the hidden curriculum
• Name an environment in which the hidden
curriculum operates
• List 3 strategies for helping students to
understand the hidden curriculum
Upcoming Paraeducator Training
Please check the PaTTAN website:
www.pattan.net
Contact Information
www.pattan.net
Tina Lawson
[email protected]
800-441-3215
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Edward G. Rendell, Governor
Donna Salkin
[email protected]
800-441-3215
Allegheny Intermediate
Unit 412-394-5700
Pennsylvania Department of Education
Gerald L. Zahorchak, D.Ed., Secretary
Diane Castelbuono, Deputy Secretary
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
John J. Tommasini, Director
Bureau of Special Education
Patricia Hozella, Assistant Director
Bureau of Special Education
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