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Existing Perspectives on the Nature of the Hidden Curriculum - Literature review Example

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The goal of this literature review is to analyze five particular educational and philosophical theories that aim to explore the structure of the learning process. The analyzed theories are traditional, behavioral, constructivist, experimental, and discipline theory. …
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Existing Perspectives on the Nature of the Hidden Curriculum
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Download file to see previous pages In relation to this argument, many philosophers and educationists came up with theories explaining the nature of the hidden curriculum. The proponents, critics, and content of these perspectives will be examined in detail in the subsequent portions of the essay. These will incorporate five main perspectives.
Psychology is one of the most important disciplines in education because rot was responsible for the creation of the experiential theory of the curriculum. It should be noted that before experiential approaches most theories of education revolved around reductionist views. However, with the passage of time, more and more psychologists realized that there was more to learning that reduction. This formed the background fro the experiential theory.
The main proponents of the theory were Freire and Kolb. The proponents believed that learning occurred in a cycle. It first starts with experience, this is then followed by reflection where there are perception and processing, thereafter action takes place. For example, teachers may be faced with the task of awarding grades for a particular exam. The fact that they are undergoing that challenge denotes the fact that they are experiencing it; i.e. the first phase of experiential learning. Thereafter, teachers have to think about other circumstances where they have had to do the same. This will constitute the reflective part of the learning process. Thereafter, they are expected to consider all the angles to the issue. They may decide to consult with other teachers on the issue and this will cause further reflection.
This reflective aspect is made of two major concepts. These are abstract conceptualization and active experimentation. In the latter part, one has to apply logic in the formation of ideas; feelings are not considered here. While in the active experimentation stage, learning occurs through experimentation with changing scenarios. Kolb, therefore, came up with four stages that help to identify learning styles depending on the earlier elements of the learning process. The stages are; activists, pragmatists, theorizers, and reflectors. Those who focus on one stage more than another will fall into that respective learning style.
Knox (1986) asserts that these stages can be applied in the classroom when students are trying to learn something. This is because they can relate to subject content on a cognitive level and can, therefore, internalize the learning process. Besides that, the experiential theory can also be applied by teachers. Teachers can present information in bits or in phases so that they can allow learners to 'experience' it. Brookfield (1990) asserts that teachers should realize that curriculum ideas are tested through the experiences acquired from their lives.
There are some critics of this theory. Rodgers (1996) asserts that the learning process is more complex than more. There are certain aspects of learning that may occur and these are not included in the four stages put forward by Kolb. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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