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.


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