Education as Text: The Varieties of Educational Hidden ness

David Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Paul Ricoeur and Clifford Geertz have been concerned with the notion of human action as text. This text, like all texts. has manifest and hidden meanings. The hidden meanings indicate a semantic function of social activities, in the sense that they provide members of a society with readings of their experience, by telling them about themselves, their values. beliefs, and cultures. Ricoeur's and Geertz's ideas are used to examine the notion of education as text. Because Ricoeur and Geertz stress hidden meaning, their ideas lead us to an analysis of the hidden curriculum The hidden curriculum is a reading of an educational text, normally performed by students. However, as Ricoeur argues, texts can be read by anyone. The question then arises: which sort of hidden curriculum is read not only by the students, but by all members of society? What sort of reading of society's experience is provided when education is a text read by all? I propose the hypothesis that education then becomes a text about society's myths and sacred beliefs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-449
Number of pages25
JournalCurriculum Inquiry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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