Volume 12 Issue 1 (2023)

Positive and Negative Lessons from Hidden Curriculum at a Philippine State University

pp. 73-96  |  Published Online: March 2023  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2023.121.5

Louie Giray, Ma. Kasandra Christina Asuncion, Jelomil Edem, Daxjhed Louis Gumalin, Jomarie Jacob, Sheila May Lucero


Background/purpose – Little attention is placed upon the lesser-known form of academic curriculum–that is, the hidden curriculum–and most especially in the Philippine context. This study explored the positive and negative lessons from hidden curricula in the higher education context, with a Philippine state university as the research setting.

Materials/methods – This study was formed as a qualitative case study, with data obtained using online focused interviews and focus group discussions with college students. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Results – For the positive lessons, college students implicitly showed evidence of being compassionate. They also acquired behaviors and attitudes considered healthy to the development of their personality. With many participants reportedly helping each other, they also appeared to learn collaborative working. For the negative lessons, college teachers were noted to trigger academic discord, and reportedly lacked empathy towards their students’ circumstances. Toxic behavior, collective cheating, and high-pressure work environment were also observed.

Conclusion – Where groups of people study, such as in the university setting, hidden curricula will always exist, as in the social environment always manifests a certain hidden curriculum. Hidden curricula can offer both positive and negative lessons which, observed or not, can impact upon students as well as other stakeholders. Furthermore, the development of hidden curricula can be an iterative phenomenon by first influencing the collective, and the collective then influencing the hidden curricula, ad infinitum.

Keywords: Hidden curriculum, college students, implicit learning, academic procrastination, collective cheating, personal development.


Aftab, A., & Rashed, M. A. (2020). Mental disorder and social deviance. International Review of Psychiatry, 33(5), 478-485. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540261.2020.1815666

Agustin, W. (2020). Bahala na: Striving for success [Unpublished undergraduate thesis]. Arellano University, Manila, Philippines.

Ahmad, S. R. (2016). Importance of English communication skills. International Journal of Applied Research, 2(3), 478-480. https://www.allresearchjournal.com/archives/?year=2016&vol=2&issue=3&part=H&ArticleId=1684

Alhojailan, M. I. (2012). Thematic analysis: A critical review of its process and evaluation. West East Journal of Social Sciences, 1(1), 39-47.

Ali, M., Ashraf, B., & Shuai, C. (2019). Teachers’ conflict-inducing attitudes and their repercussions on students’ psychological health and learning outcomes. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(14), 25-34. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16142534

Alsubaie, M. A. (2015). Hidden curriculum as one of the current issues of the curriculum. Journal of Education and Practice, 6(33), 125-127. https://iiste.org/Journals/index.php/JEP/article/view/27376

Anis, A., Islam, R., & Abdullah, N. A. (2018). Challenges faced by Malaysian private HLIs in providing quality education: a thematic analysis. Quality Assurance in Education, 26(3), 349-373. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAE-10-2015-0039

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77-101. https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa

Burroughs, M. D., & Barkauskas, N. J. (2017). Educating the whole child: Social-emotional learning and ethics education. Ethics and Education, 12(2), 218-232. https://doi.org/10.1080/17449642.2017.1287388

Cornejo, J. (2020). Stress and coping mechanisms among college students. California State University-Northridge.

Çubukçu, Z. (2012). The effect of hidden curriculum on character education process of primary school students. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, 12(2), 1526-1534.

Davidsson, P., Hunter, E., & Klofsten, M. (2006). Institutional forces: The invisible hand that shapes venture ideas?. International Small Business Journal24(2), 115-131. https://doi.org/10.1177/0266242606061834

Davis, J. R. (2014). A little goes a long way: Pressure for college students to succeed. The Journal of Undergraduate Research, 12(1), Article 2. https://openprairie.sdstate.edu/jur/vol12/iss1/2

Egan, K. (2014). What is curriculum?. Curriculum Inquiry, 8(1), 65-72. https://doi.org/10.1080/03626784.1978.11075558

Estrada, M., Monferrer, D., Rodríguez, A., & Moliner, M. Á. (2021). Does emotional intelligence influence academic performance? The role of compassion and engagement in education for sustainable development. Sustainability, 13(4), Article 1721. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041721

Etikan, I., Musa, S. A., & Alkassim, R. S. (2016). Comparison of convenience sampling and purposive sampling. American Journal of Theoretical and Applied Statistics, 5(1), 1-4. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ajtas.20160501.11

Eva, A. (2017, May 4). How to stay empathic without suffering so much. Greater Good Magazine. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_stay_empathic_without_suffering_so_much

Gage, R. (2012). Risky is the new safe. Wiley.

Giray, L. (2022). Human resource management in education. Management Research and Practice, 14(1), 55-56. http://mrp.ase.ro/no141/f5.pd

Giroux, H., & Penna, A. (1979). Social education in the classroom: The dynamics of the hidden curriculum. Theory and Research in Social Education, 7, 30-31. https://doi.org/10.1080/00933104.1979.

Goodboy, A. K. (2011). The development and validation of the instructional dissent scale. Communication Education, 60(4), 422-440. https://doi.org/10.1080/03634523.2011.569894

Goodboy, A. K., Myers, S. A., & Bolkan, S. (2010). Student motives for communicating with instructors as a function of perceived instructor misbehaviors. Communication Research Reports, 27, 11-19. https://doi.org/10.1080/08824090903526604

Goode, E. (Ed.). (2015). The handbook of deviance. Wiley. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118701386

Gripaldo, R. (2005). Bahala na: A philosophical analysis. Council for Research in Values and Philosophy.

Gunio, M. J. (2021). Determining the influences of a hidden curriculum on students’ character development using the illuminative evaluation model. Journal of Curriculum Studies Research, 3(2), 195-196. https://doi.org/10.46303/jcsr.2021.11

Gunio, M. J. D., & Fajardo, A. C. (2018). Evaluating the hidden curriculum and its impact on the character development of preschool students. Asia Pacific Journal on Curriculum Studies, 1(1), 20-25. https://doi.org/10.53420/apjcs.2018.4

Hafferty, F. W., & Franks, R. (1994). The hidden curriculum, ethics teaching, and the structure of medical education. Academic Medicine, 69(11), 861-871. https://doi.org/10.1097/00001888-199411000-00001

Hartzell, S. (2022). Groupthink: Definition and examples. https://study.com/academy/lesson/group-think-definition-examples.html

Hattie, J., & Yates, G. (2014). Visible learning and the science of how we learn. Routledge.

Hong, J., Lee, F., & Ye, H. (2021). Procrastination predicts online self-regulated learning and online learning ineffectiveness during the coronavirus lockdown. Personality and Individual Differences, 174, Article 110673. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2021.110673

Jackson, P. W. (1968). Life in classrooms. Teachers College Press.

Johnson, F. (2013). Advantages and disadvantages of cross-grade level collaboration to improve collegial interactions [Doctoral dissertation, Walden University]. ProQuest. https://www.proquest.com/openview/53bdd031a007d985acf5d6c87c564d1a/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750

Johnson, J. L., Adkins, D., & Chauvin, S. (2020). A review of the quality indicators of rigor in qualitative research. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 84(1), Article 7120. https://doi.org/10.5688/ajpe7120

Klingsieck, K. (2013). Procrastination: When good things don’t come to those who wait. European Psychologist, 18, 24-34. https://doi.org/10.1027/1016-9040/a000138

Laybourne S., Frenzel, A., & Fenzl, T. (2019). Teacher procrastination, emotions, and stress: A qualitative study. Frontiers, 10, Article 2325. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02325

Lieberman, M. D. (2013). Social: Why our brains are wired to connect. Oxford University Press.

Margolis, E., Soldatenko, M., Acker, S., & Gair, M. (2001). The hidden curriculum in higher education. Psychology Press.

Markus, H. (1978). The effect of mere presence on social: An unobtrusive test facilitation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 14(4), 389-397. https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1031(78)90034-3

Martinez-Moyano, I. (2006). Exploring the dynamics of collaboration in interorganizational settings. In D. Andersen, G. Richardson, & A. Creswell (Eds.), Creating a culture of collaboration (pp. 69-85). International Association of Facilitators.

Mascaro, J. S., Florian, M. P., Ash, M. J., Palmer, P. K., Frazier, T., Condon, P., & Raison, C. (2020). Ways of knowing compassion: How do we come to know, understand, and measure compassion when we see it? Frontiers in Psychology, 11, Article 2467. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.547241

Maxwell, J. A. (2012). Qualitative research design: An interactive approach. Sage.

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Solidarity. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/solidarity

Merton, R. K., Fiske, M., & Kendall, P. L. (1990). The focused interview: A manual of problems and procedures. The Free Press.

Merton, R. K., & Kendall, P. L. (1946). The focused interview. American Journal of Sociology, 51(6), 541-557. https://doi.org/10.1086/219886

Miller, J. P., & Seller, W. (1985). Curriculum perspectives and practice. Longman.

Murphy-Shigematsu, S. (2018). From mindfulness to heartfulness: Transforming self and society with compassion. Berrett-Koehler.

Nalipay, M. J. N., & Alfonso, M. K. S. (2018). Career and talent development self-efficacy of Filipino students: The role of self-compassion and hope. Philippine Journal of Psychology, 51(1), 101-120. https://pap.ph/assets/files/journals/career-and-talent-development-selfefficacy-of-filipino-students-the-role-of-selfcompassion-and-ho.pdf

Nguyen, B., Steel, P., & Ferrari, J. (2013). Procrastination’s impact in the workplace and the workplace’s impact on procrastination. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 21(4), 388-399. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijsa.12048

Nguyen, D. T., Wright, E. P., Dedding, C., Pham, T. T., & Bunders, J. (2019). Low self-esteem and its association with anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation in Vietnamese secondary school students: A cross-sectional study. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00698

Ortega, H. C., Castro, R., Tolentino, J. C., Pusung, D. S., & Abad, R. (2022). The hidden curriculum in a Filipino pre-service physical educators’ virtual ecology. Edu Sportivo: Indonesian Journal of Physical Education3(1), 25-40. https://doi.org/10.25299/es:ijope.2022.vol3(1).8851

Pommier, E., Neff, K. D., & Tóth-Király, I. (2020). The development and validation of the Compassion Scale. Assessment, 27(1), 21-39. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1073191119874108

Poola, V. P., Suh, B., Parr, T., Boehler, M., Han, H., & Mellinger, J. (2021). Medical students’ reflections on surgical educators’ professionalism: Contextual nuances in the hidden curriculum. The American Journal of Surgery, 221(2), 270-276. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2020.09.003

Porlares, C. V., & Tan, E. (2021). The influences of organizational structure in the hidden curriculum: implications in school practice. International Journal of Social Science and Human Research, 4(5), 980-988. https://doi.org/10.47191/ijsshr/v4-i5-14

Pulfrey, C., Durussel, K., & Butera, F. (2018). The good cheat: Benevolence and the justification of collective cheating. Journal of Educational Psychology, 110(6), 764-784. https://doi.org/10.1037/edu0000247

Raissi-Ahvan, Y., Shaykhei Fini, A., & Zainalipour, H. (2021). Effectiveness of the hidden curriculum on affective attitudes of high School students toward learning. Journal of Research & Health, 11(6), 423-434. https://doi.org/10.32598/JRH.11.6.1925.1

Ryan, M. L., Shochet, I. M., & Stallman, H. M. (2010). Universal online interventions might engage psychologically distressed university students who are unlikely to seek formal help. Advances in Mental Health, 9(1), 73-83. https://doi.org/10.5172/jamh.9.1.73

Seger, C. A. (1994). Implicit learning. Psychological Bulletin, 115(2), 163-196. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.115.2.163

Smith, J. S., & Wertlieb, E. C. (2005). Do first-year college students’ expectations align with their first-year experiences? NASPA Journal, 42(2), 153-174. https://doi.org/10.2202/1949-6605.1470

Steel, P. (2007). The nature of procrastination: A meta-analytic and theoretical review of quintessential self-regulatory failure. Psychological Bulletin, 133(1), 65-94. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.133.1.65

Strauss, C., Taylor, B. L., Gu, J., Kuyken, W., Baer, R., Jones, F., & Cavanagh, K. (2016). What is compassion and how can we measure it? A review of definitions and measures. Clinical Psychology Review, 47, 15-27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2016.05.004

Tekian, A. (2009). Must the hidden curriculum be the ‘black box’ for the unspoken truth? Medical Education, 43(9), 822-823. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2923.2009.03443.x

Terry, G., Hayfield, N., Clarke, V., & Braun, V. (2017). Thematic analysis. In C. Willig, & W. Rogers (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology (pp. 17-36). Sage.

Tulloch, J., & Lupton, D. (2003). Risk and everyday life. Sage.

Vallade, J. I., & Myers, S. A. (2014). Student forgiveness in the college classroom: Perceived instructor misbehaviors as relational transgressions. Communication Quarterly, 62, 342-356. https://doi.org/10.1080/01463373.2014.911767

Waddock, S., & Bodwell, C. (2004). Managing responsibility: what can be learned from the quality movement? California Management Review, 47(1), 25-37. https://doi.org/10.2307/41166285

Yariv, E. (2011). Deterioration in teachers’ performance: Causes and some remedies. World Journal of Education, 1(1), 81-91. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1159040.pdf

Yin, R. (2013). Case study research: Design and methods (5th ed.). Sage.

Zhang, J. J., & Lee, K. S. (2020). Healthy competition. Journal of Neurosurgery, 133(6), 1972-1973. https://doi.org/10.3171/2020.2.JNS20213



EDUPIJ Statistics from Scopus

CiteScore: 1.8, view Scopus page

SCImago Journal & Country Rank

► Educational Process: International Journal is member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). 

► New issue coming soon! (Volume 12 Issue 4, 2023)