Social Class And The Hidden Curriculum Of Work By Jean Anyon Summary

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In the essay Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work by Jean Anyon, she explores how different social classes influence education. She achieves this by observing five different 5th grade classrooms that she divided into the categories of “Working Class,” “Middle Class,” “Affluence Professional,” and “Executive Elite.” A “Working Class” school is a school that values order and gives the teacher complete control over the students. These classrooms mainly work on copying and rote memorization without knowing the ‘how’ or ‘why’ behind what they are asked to do. An “Executive Elite” school is a school that values analytical and comparative thinking and they work on analyzing things and applying or comparing them to current situations or scenarios. In the end of the essay, Anyon concludes that social class dictates what is taught in the classrooms and that this keeps social classes in a cycle of seemingly endless repetition. Anyon writes, for example, “School experience, in the …show more content…
He says, “Behold! human beings living in an underground den. . .where they have been from their childhood.”(p.6) A “Working Class” classroom is a cave, a “Middle Class” classroom is a cave, an “Affluent Professional” classroom is a cave, and finally, an “Executive Elite” classroom is a cave. Continuing along with Plato’s allegory, we come to the “prisoners.” Within each classroom, the students can be thought of as prisoners in a sense that what they are taught is dictated by the classroom, or “cave,” they are in. Anynon writes, for example, “Differing curricular, pedagogical, and pupil evaluation practices emphasis different cognitive and behavioral skills in each social setting and thus contributes to the development in the children of certain potential relationships to physical and symbolic capital, to authority, and to the process of work

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