Thursday, October 28, 2010

Replacing the CAGE: Do PLE's help overcome the Hidden Curriculum? #PLENK

Take off on one of my favorite Bruce Cockburn songs, Pacing the Cage. I think the song is pretty personal but I think of people who are confined in other types of cages. Bruce has championed First Nations issues in Canada for many years.



A major construct in critical pedagogy is the hidden curriculum
The idea is that different people experience the same education curriculum differently depending on their race, gender, socioeconomic status, their social strata, their CAGE. (class, age, gender, ethnicity) Julie McMullin (2009) Understanding Social Inequality is a good starting point to understand the situation in Canada although the themes are similar worldwide.

Most people, particularly those from the privileged groups have very little insight into this disparity. Lots of sociology projects seek to deconstruct colonialism and/or study whiteness. Lund and Carr, (2007) have an excellent set of exercises that I have put together for a seminar in Second Life.

The potential exists for web based learning to avoid some of the major abuses resulting from the hidden curriculum. As long as a new inequality isn't based on your access to high speed Internet. This week MTS released a report that it would cost 7 billion to restructure internet access to ensure that all Canadians have equal access. Can you detect the rent-seeking behavior here?
In economics, rent seeking occurs when an individual, organization or firm seeks to earn income by capturing economic rent through manipulation or exploitation of the economic or political environment, rather than by earning profits through economic transactions and the production of added wealth.

Guess who lives in many of the rural and remote communities in Canada, those that have been disadvantaged for ever. If First Nations people are going to prosper in the information age, they need access to the information flow. Make sure that the hidden curriculum doesn't include the unspoke direction to "fire up your high speed internet access" if it isn't universally available.


Lund, D. E., & Carr, P. (2007). The great white North? Exploring whiteness, privilege and identity in education. Sense Publishers.

McMullin, J. (2009). Understanding Social Inequality: Intersections of Class, Age, Gender, Ethnicity, and Race in Canada (p. 408). Oxford University Press, USA.

1 comment:

Eva said...

The first time I stopped by for the love of the English Language, the next time for mutual interest in pedagogy and today for the presentation of sociology. Please, keep on writing .....
I enjoy reading your posts.
Eva Birger