The Visible, Hidden & Extra Curricula

Here are my undergraduate students’ unedited exam descriptions of their experiences with the (a) visible, (b) hidden, and (c) extra curricula.  All of them left high school just a few years ago.

Female Student — Being what I would consider a “professional student” of fifteen years I feel that I have seen and recognized the hidden, visible, and extra curriculums incorporated into school curriculums. The hidden curriculum would be school rules, classroom rules and school mottos for example. The visible curriculum would be standardized tests and the pressure from the school board for local schools to excel. The extra curriculum is often pushed by parents, school employees and colleges to a certain extent encouraging students to participate in sports, clubs, and community service in order to be a more well rounded person. During my time as a student my most powerful educational experiences are contributed to the hidden and extra curriculums present in schools.

The hidden curriculum to me would be the rules listed in the classroom for all to read or the syllabus of what is expected of you in a course that is handed out on the first day of class. This curriculum is not hidden to anyone, teachers share it with students and parents so all parties know what is expected of them from the get go. It is important because when followed it allows you to excel as a student because you complete assignments in a timely matter and you respect your teacher and classmates allowing you to do your best in your classes. I would include this in my most powerful educational experiences because by following the hidden curriculum such as school rules and classroom rules I personally gained close relationships with teachers and faculty members that have helped me in furthering my education.

The visible curriculum to me personally was not as influential as the hidden and extra curriculums because I consider the visible curriculum being standardized test scores and the push for students and schools to improve and excel on their yearly state tests. The visible curriculum is known it’s not a complete secret, but it’s not as publicized as the class or school rules and policies. The visible curriculum is important but test scores are not what have helped me through my education, what has helped me has been strong relationships with teachers, faculty members and other students. Test scores are used to analyze progress I understand that but I am a terrible test taker and I personally don’t feel that standardized tests have reflected my understanding of the subjects being tested. Personally I do not think the visible curriculum is as important as school boards and officials make it out to be.

The extra curriculum is important for social and personal growth because it allows students to focus some of their energy into other areas besides academic work all day long. Extra curriculums include sports, clubs, and community service these extra activities help shape students into well rounded individuals capable of a life outside of a school setting. It is important that students participate in other activities so that they do not become overwhelmed and discouraged from school work. Extra curriculum activities provide students with opportunities to meet other people that they might not have had the opportunity to meet in a school setting. Personally some of my best friends still are friends that I acquired through extracurricular activities.

Female Student — The visible curriculum is one of the curriculums I saw the most in high school and now in college. Teachers have handed out syllabi since day one of high school, and I continue to get them every semester. Syllabi help me visualize what is to come in a course or what is expected of me in the class. It is visible curriculum that helps me to succeed in classes.

The invisible curriculum is exactly as it sounds. It cannot be found in a syllabi or anywhere else. You can learn the most from the invisible curriculum. I get the most out of my education from this curriculum because it can relate to me or life personally. I believe the invisible curriculum helps me connect with my professor and classmates more than a visible curriculum would. Class discussions that are similar to a topic in class is like an invisible curriculum, it will help you understand material in class and relates to you.

Extracurricular activities fall under the extra curriculum. These extra activities such as sports or a club have been proven to help a student’s grades if school and the extra activities are healthily balanced. I had extracurricular activities in high school. I was the yearbook editor and chief for all four years of high school. The extra curriculum did not really help me, but it did not hinder me either.

Female Student — An example of the invisible or hidden curriculum would be when we use to have recess in elementary school and I would run to the dolls first and would collect all of them and not want to share with anyone. Then the other girls would complain and I would have to share with them. The lesson that I learned here and what the other children are learning also is that for me I have to share my the dolls that I got to first with every person who wants to play with one meaning that I have to learn to share and the other children who did not have dolls at first had to accept the fact that they did not have them and had to figure out a strategy on how to get the dolls and have one of their own.

With extracurricular activities that would involve either playing a sport or attending an after school program that you were involved in. I had an extracurricular activity every day of my life. Even in elementary school I had extracurricular activities. I have been running track since I was five years old and after elementary school I would go and run with my dad and practice different things. When I was in middle school I played basketball and we had practice every day except for on Fridays. While in high school I played junior varsity basketball and I ran track. I think that extracurricular activities keep a lot of children out of the streets and it gives children an opportunity to try out something new and something that they enjoy doing that makes them happy. I know that it made me very happy and I really enjoyed it a lot.

With the visible curriculum in my schools and even in college my teachers would hand out syllabi and they would have everything that you were doing from the beginning of the semester to the end of the semester. I actually like these because you could turn in homework early or start on assignments early because you have it right in front of your face. The only thing that I do not like about syllabi is that most are tentative and they change if your behind schedule most teachers skip to the next thing to catch back up or either take something out of the syllabi and you do not learn about it.

The visible and the extracurricular activities experience played a major role in my life the most because this is what I was growing up on in school and these are all of the things that were given to me to follow and use. I was always given a syllabus in classes even in middle school we had syllabus and like I stated earlier I was always doing an extracurricular activity after school. I was even tutoring and being tutored after school and before school so I was always a busy person.

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