In order to follow this path successfully teachers have to make curriculum judgements on what to include, resources to use and assessments to administer. In doing this a teacher is making many decisions that are both conscious and unconscious about explicit, implicit or null curricula.
Although educators follow an explicit curriculum in the classroom, many times in the course of a day circumstances cause deviations from this plan. How the teacher handles these circumstances and how the students react create an entire implicit curriculum that may influence learning more than the intended lesson (De Boer, n.d.).
What is left out completely (null curriculum) also conveys a hidden message to students, teachers and society. Choosing one subject to teach over another, including certain activities and/or materials over others, etc. all display a form of judgement. This forms our education system and our society. For example, Social Studies includes various wars and occurrences in history, as well as government and economic studies. Why did the instructional designers choose particular events, and are the students swayed in thinking these events are more important than others? "This null curricula limits the mind of the student to think about the world in a linear, logical way" (Duritsa, 2013). This may be why certain beliefs and prejudices transcend the ages.
Elliott Eisner (2001), in his book "The Educational Imagination," points out that through curricula, "schools teach much more - and much less - than they intend to teach." Students spend a lot of time at school; therefore, they are greatly influenced by every aspect of their education, the building, the teachers, social interactions, etc. Students may spend more energy learning the teacher's implicit expectations so they can give the teacher what they want than learning the explicit curriculum. On average, 70% of what is learned at school is explicit, while 30% is a by-product of these experiences (Spies, 2012). These hidden lessons come from following rules (often set by the teacher's morals and values) and socializing with others.
We were all influenced by the adults in our lives as we grew up. These lessons have made us who we are today. As a teacher, we need to make sure that our position as a role model is as transparent as possible. This decreases stress for both the teachers and the students. Energy can be re-focused on the intentions of the explicit curriculum.
De Boer, Joanne. (n.d.) Your Curriculum: Explicit, Implicit or Null? Retrieved from http://www.scsbc.ca/?action=d7_article_viewer_view_article&Join_ID=561699&template=link_article.htm7.
Duritsa, Cortney. (2013, February 21). Eisner's Three Curricula. Retrieved from http://prezi.com/dr66stkpnf61/eisners-three-curricula/.
Eisner, Elliott. (2001, July 26) The Educational Imagination. Retrieved from http://people.cehd.tamu.edu/~pslattery/documents/EducationalImagination.pdf.