The gears of the hidden curriculum revisited

Clarisse Halpern


In this Book Review on Dumbing us down: The hidden curriculum of compulsory schooling, Gatto shares some of his ideas concerning the American education system, inviting the readers to reexamine it, particularly its formal school settings. The author highlights common school practices that often go unnoticed that comprise the hidden curriculum. By unveiling these practices, Gatto affirms that the current school curriculum is designed to serve economic and political interests, instead of students' needs for learning. In his view, schools' aim to teach students rules of behavior that safeguards their obedience to abide by corporate capitalism demands. Gatto also presents harsh criticism explaining that the present crisis on education is related to an identity loss by American community values. Therefore, this publication aims to broaden the understanding about the hidden curriculum for those who wish to develop a critical examination of this topic.


Hidden curriculum, American education system, school practices

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JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

The journal is published by the Foundation for Curriculum Theory and is associated with the Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice, held in the autumn of each year. JCT is indexed in The Education Index.

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ISSN: 1942-2563