Bernhard Nickel, Professor of Philosophy, engages students in his introductory College courses about the “hidden curriculum”—defined here as the social and disciplinary norms often invisible to both students and the teaching staff, including expectations about class preparation, in-session focus, respectful discussion behavior, and the role of feedback.
The benefits: Addressing the hidden curriculum explicitly in class surfaces and dispels student assumptions about conduct (for example, concerns that discussing a paper with the instructor during office hours is cheating) that often cause poor academic performance but cannot be solved with narrowly academic feedback. Read more about The hidden curriculum: Engaging students on another level
Stanford’s Sam Wineburg observed scholars reading historical texts in his presence and argues that the cognitive processes by which a scholar or expert makes sense of material are powerful, underutilized teaching tools. Read more about Research: Teaching the Mind Good Habits
Professor Chris Winship of the sociology department describes how reciprocity can also work against learning when instructors and students agree to mutual low expectation, defined as the “faculty-student low-low contract.”