Hidden Curriculum

What is hidden curriculum? Is it good or evil? Why does it exist and what can we do about it?
These are all questions that we have been discussing in our forum in my course 3210.

I wasn’t truly aware of what was meant by hidden curriculum but it turns out there is much more learning happening for students beyond the formal curriculum we teach to. And sometimes the content of the hidden curriculum can have a longer lasting effect on a student and/or can change the path they are on or the course they take.
As teachers, being aware that hidden curriculum exists, that you are transparent about it and even discuss the topic can lead to greater awareness and the impacts of the results.
As a learner, thinking about what I have learned from the hidden curriculum in this PID program is overwhelming and I feel it’s importance to me and my growth outweighs my learning from the formal curriculum.

I have attached an article that discusses hidden curriculum as a positive.


Outcome or Competency Based Education

Below is a link to an article on the subject of Outcomes Based Education. What is it? Is it based on previous histories of education or is it a paradigm shift and a new practice to how we educate?

But first you need to really understand what they are and how Outcome and Competency Based Education styles differ. I have include the wikipedia definition of both. Very well explained.

Course 3210 – Curriculum development

After a fantastic summer, it’s now time to start my next course in the PID program – Curriculum Design. I am a little concerned about delving in to the minds and mastery behind what creates a good curriculum and the reasons why or what works best. This first week of my course – or really the first few days and I’m researching to really understand what curriculum is and what it means. As a trainer and facilitator in the corporate world my focus is how curriculum design works in that environment.
I found a great article that expresses a definition of curriculum, how to maintain consistency and rigidity and the value corporate beliefs that are forefront.

Self-Assessment: not as easy as it first appears

My course 3250 – Instructional Strategies is winding down and the final 2 assignments are about assessment. Assessing both our contribution to forum discussions and our blog. I was eager to submit my assessments but on sitting down to tackle these assignments, I’ve discovered they are harder than first appeared. And I’m curious. It has generated much more thought than I expected. I know the purpose behind self-assessing i.e. there is great learning in self-assessing and I know deep reflection can generate transformation and lead to enhanced insights. Barkley (2010) explains that ” helping students evaluate their learning allows them to take responsibility for determining whether they are in their optimal challenge zone and adjust accordingly by doing additional review, seeking help, or challenging themselves to do more advanced work.”
Assessing oneself isn’t about listing all the new skills you have learned, or about saying this was great or I liked that or my strengths are such and such. It may partially be those things and yet it is so much more. Thinking about my thinking has become an everyday occurrance! Keeping Barkley’s comments in mind, I have determined that indeed I am in my optimal challenge zone and I will challenge myself further to take all I have learned in this course to my future instruction.
Self-assessment is more for the student than the instructor. It has generated some deep thought on my part. It has kept me honest. It has demonstrated my strengths and my opportunities. Yes, it can help to evaluate and lead to a “score” or a final mark but to me that isn’t what it is all about!
I have learned so much in this course and I am thankful to my fellow classmates who have contributed to my learning and my instructor for constantly fueling questions to make me think.
Most of all, I am excited to continue to challenge my learning!


Barkley, E. (2010). Student engagement techniques – a handbook for college faculty. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

This entry was posted on June 24, 2014. 1 Comment

Blog Envy

I’ve been sifting through my blog trying to figure out how I can organzie the content better, or at least have it more organzied and user friendly and I seem to be at a bit of a roadblock. I became curious if it is my skill level, my creativity (or lack thereof) or my motivation. So I thought it would help to really delve into the blogs of my classmates that I had previously been impressed with and critically dissect how they were presented and designed and….. well….now I have blog envy!
Oh my goodness, such wonderful expressive blogs and all so uniquely different. Darn it…why didn’t I design mine like theirs? How come I chose that template? Why did I pick those colours? Is my content even remotely interesting? I had so many questions running around in my mind with the overwhelming thought that I have my work cut out for me if I want to change it.
After sleeping on it and reflecting further I decided to take a step back for a bit and reflect further on the 2 questions from the article on self-regualted learning that I posted on a previous post (see The Secret of Self-Regulated Learning).

In the meantime I happen to check out our forum and came across this post about resistance and how to keep motivation going from my fellow classmate James. James shared a quote from the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.
He identifies the ‘Resistance’ that is, ‘when we defer from doing what we know we need to be doing to achieve our goals we have’, and instead get distracted by something else. He also focuses on the notion that the resistance only needs to be overcome for that one session, ‘right now’. Later you can defer but right now you need to overcome for the good of the goal.

This quote resonated with me in two ways. It signifies self-forgiveness and suggests that resistance is okay. It also suggests you ask yourself what do you really want? And if that is your goal how can you overcome resistance for the short term? My aha here is that I can break my big goal of creating a more savvy, slicker blog into into small goals that are more attainable and realistic and ultimately of least resistance – which will then support my big goal!

Okay – blog envy no more! Time to get motivated.

This entry was posted on June 20, 2014. 1 Comment

Teacher, Instructor, Educator, Facilitator

In some of the forum discussions in my 3250 course, we have questioned the differences between the titles of “teacher, instructor, educator, facilitator”.  Do they mean different things?  Do they refer to different types of people?  Are they one and the same?  What sets them apart and what similarities do they have?  Lot of great questions to think about.
I have posted a short video on the definition and roles of a facilitator.

In my work environment, my job title is that of a facilitator.  One of my co-students found the definition below that describes a facilitator.  I strongly identified with this and wanted to pass on. Thanks Nicolette!

One of the most effective approaches in helping students learn is facilitation of learning. Brockett (1983) views an educator of adult’s primary role as one of facilitating learning. He bases this view on the assumption that adults tend to prefer settings in which they have primary responsibility for directing their own learning.  Another advocate of the facilitating approach is Knowles. He believes that adult educators should serve as facilitators of learning rather than content transmitters.
Aker (1976) studied effective facilitators in detail and believed they were individuals who exhibited the following characteristics:
1. Have great empathy–i.e., try to see things as seen by their learners.
2. Consistently use reward, seldom if ever use punishment, and never ridicule.
3. Have a deep sense of their responsibility, enjoy their work, and like people.
4. Feel secure in their own abilities, yet believe that they can do better.
5. Have a profound respect for the dignity and worth of each individual and accept their fellow learners as they are without reservation.
6. Have a keen sense of fairness and objectivity in relating to others.
7. Are willing to accept or try out new things and ideas and avoid drawing premature conclusions.
8. Have high levels of patience.
9. Recognize the uniqueness and strengths of each individual and build upon such strengths.
10. Are sensitive to the needs, fears, problems and goals of their fellow learners.
11. Reflect on their experiences and attempt to analyze them in terms of success and failure.
12. Are humble in regard to their role and avoid the use of power which is assumed by some educators.
13. Do not pretend to have the answers and enjoy learning along with others.
14. Are continuously expanding their range of interest.
15. Are committed to and involved in their own lifelong learning.

Aker, G. F. (1976). The Learning Facilitator.

Brockett, R. (1983). Facilitator roles and skills. Lifelong Learning: The Adult Years, 6(5), 7-9. 

One teacher’s passion

The TED talk below is from an elementary school teacher in the Bronx. She describes a moment in her classroom where her training as a teacher didn’t help but instead it was her passion, her intuition, her values and her beliefs that got her through. Very inspiring! I wonder how many of us rely on those skills to get us through difficult times?