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Schooling and the Development of Delinquency: Aspects of the 'Hidden Curriculum' (From Crime at School: Proceedings of a Seminar Held 2-4 June 1987 in Canberra, P 177-183, 1987, Dennis Challinger, ed. - See NCJ-110911)

NCJ Number
S Petrie
Date Published
7 pages
Two aspects of the 'hidden curriculum' in Australian schools -- school discipline and ecological aspects of time and space -- interact to produce a sense of powerlessness, frustration, and alienation among students, which in turn fuel misconduct and delinquency.
Discipline structures which equate student compliance with school rules with effective teaching create a childlike posture in students which frustrates and angers them. Reactions to this uncomfortable identity may include hostile acts against teachers and the school building. The physical design of school buildings and the spatial allocation of the buildings on the school campus may create educational contexts and opportunities for deviant behavior by students, which promotes authoritarianism among staff charged with policing school buildings. New buildings result in new sets of rules to cover every conceivable contingency associated with the new building, thus tightly governing students' behaviors in and around the buildings. School administrators should alter student options for the use of school space to create mutual trust, respect, and responsibility rather than a sense of failure and powerlessness among students. Schools must provide for more meaningful participation of students and parents in the development of school policies that affect their behaviors. 10 references.