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Anyon's Curriculum of Work

Social class affects what and how students are taught. We should keep this in mind as we assess various techniques for addressing this challenge.

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Written by DeletedUser

Jean Anyon wrote an essay entitled, "Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work."  In this essay, she studied fifth grade students at five different elementary schools in order to determine whether they were educated differently based upon their social classes.  The school that served mostly working class students had a curriculum that was focused on obedience and following instructions.  The school that served middle class students taught some critical thinking skills, but the curriculum centered around right or wrong answers.  The upper class students, by far, received the most innovative and creative instruction in order to develop the same aforementioned traits in the students. 

 

We must keep this in mind as we determine what skills or education we wish to provide young people with in order to prepare them for the work force.  Too often, we automatically plug young people into certain career tracks based upon such extrinsic factors as race, class, gender, etc.  The lesson here, though, is that the creative and innovative preparation is the preparation that all young people deserve regardless of their status in society.

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Photo of Tom Hulme

I found this very powerful - earlier this week I did a talk and workshop for underprivileged kids and was blown away by their lack of creative thinking... It was particularly frustrating because may of them seemed very smart indeed

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