#2 Classroom Diaries: Formal, Informal and Hidden Curriculum

A brief report of classroom activity covering formal, informal and hidden curriculum. Please refer below for a nice description of the same.

Hoping that the below example of classroom diary will throw more light on what are formal, informal and hidden curriculum.

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Date: February, 2017

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjgW5a1CJA8

10th std Students of Samta Hindi Vidyalaya, Turbhe, Navi Mumbai

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How to plan and teach by integrating formal, informal and hidden curriculum?

I wish to approach and address this question by sharing my experience as a science teacher and enthusiast.

Objective Formal: Introducing Science

Action: Introducing science, not just as a dry subject but as a powerful tool, a method and an approach to view and know ourselves and our universe.

Method: Making a list of intriguing questions and holding class discussions and video sessions, approaching from mystic to mundane.

Reason: It is easy to answer mundane stuff by science but big philosophical questions are still intriguing. A gradual transition from mystic to mundane will help learners move from their own unknown regions towards known ideas. Once we are able to get some answers accurately right, we move towards more mystical stuffs using science and see what we get. Vis-a-vis, we compare religious and cultural answers to these questions too.

Some Questions: Big to small

Who am I ?

Where did you come from ?

How life started ?

What are we, the earth, sun, moon and rest of universe made of ?

What is the purpose of our life ?

Who is God ?

Is there a God ?

What are religions trying to see and say ?

Why things are the way they are, and what are the ways ?

What rules govern the wonderful world ?

For example, why what goes up comes down ?

What is science ?

What questions we’d like to answer ?

Video Session : Class sessions are in parallel conducted with video sessions, in this case, the our online lecturer was Mr Mayank,(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8prfcE47bU) Mayank tutorials youtube channel which has probably changed to हिन्दी डोक्युमेंट्री चलचित्र -Wikipedia Explorers hosts some really intriguing and interesting lectures on science from historic, rationalistic and humanistic perspective.

Review of work: The class went well in terms of introducing science as an approach. Ample time was given, about 2 hours, so the there was no hurry to “complete the syllabus”. The discussions were lively and boisterious and numerous answers were noted and more questions raised, although contribution came not from all sides. Still a stage has been set for the school syllabus to be covered. Self-evaluation of class experience: 8/10

Objective informal:

Learning as a group: Science is a group activity, a collective humanistic effort and approach.

Everyone counts: Discussions are held to promote contribution from as many learners as possible.

Grow and share: Sharing of knowledge sustains science and humanity.

Review of work: Group discussions went smooth at times, and when left it would deviate from the topic. So that took effort to make sure we don’t deviate for long. This is where the group is asked out to support on moving with the discussions and help each other come back to learning.

Only a few active learners were initially interested in sharing their world views.But as class went on two more shy kids started speaking. What they shared needs to be repeated again to the classroom in case someone missed out, and they really liked me repeating what they said! Even silly ideas are to be promoted by saying that mistakes make way to solutions.

Each learner had to be asked personally to give their views. It is time consuming but necessary so that shy learners speak up. Bright and loud learners were requested to think and ponder over more difficult questions or bring their own ideas and let others into the discussion. It takes time to make this a habit but, some improvements were clearly seen.

Self-evaluation of class experience: 7/10

Objective Hidden:

Life as a quest: Promoting questioning and reasoning abilities through discussions and extending this approach to life. Make the learner puzzled and intrigued by life.

Promoting rationalism: An attempt to make learners move away from past held superstitions and substitute it with new found knowledge, but at the same time appreciate the humble origins of earlier held ideas and sceen new information through rationality by first raising questions.

Propagating humanism: We as humans should not rely on fear of god or any authority to be good. We need to be good for our own good. We come and go. Science is an effort which shows what’s going around and how we survive and thrive in this little blue planet, quite alone, circulating a star called sun, and drifting away in space.

Review of work: Wondering how’d they now start to view themselves and the world, is there any impact of the lecture ? Did they gain something everlasting ? I wonder whether the message has reached them. I observed a slow decrease in resistance to probe into questions as class went on. It was good to see that many children were already quite rational and in general class was more towards rationalism and agnosticism. The class was however made to understand the power of belief and the emotional support one gets by subscribing to such system of belief, and we also discussed placebo effect, so one might say each one have their own religion. There is still hesitance among learners to come forward and discuss. More such open discussions are needed, especially to promote human values on basis of benefit of symbiotic relationships, and not on belief systems.

( Personal rating : 7/10 )

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So…what do you think when you think of formal informal and hidden curriculum ?

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