Teaching the Hidden Curriculum in Political Science

Teaching the Hidden Curriculum in Political Science

By Elena Barham and Colleen Wood, Columbia University

The “hidden curriculum” in academia represents a set of informal norms and rules, expectations, and skills that inform our “ways of doing” academic practice (Calarco 2020). This article suggests that relying on informal networks to provide access to instruction in these skills can reinforce preexisting inequalities in the discipline. Drawing on a pilot program that we developed and implemented in our own department, we provide a model for formalizing instruction and equalizing access to training in these professionalizing skills. Drawing on the literature on inclusive pedagogy, as well as our own implementation experience, we advance four recommendations for scaling and transporting instruction in the “hidden curriculum” to other departments.

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