Main Article Content
Introduction: Hidden curriculum (HC) as “a sum of influences” that exist in the educational environment. It is the set of cultures, values, safety practices, and organizational structures within a school which affect students’ personal, professional development, learning, and behavior. HC is not documented but inferred by learners rather than delivered intentionally by faculty. In our educational system, Is the curriculum yet to be discovered, or has it been hidden by someone? The curriculum remains hidden until faculty and students get aware of it.
Objective: To explore the effects of HC on students' behavior.
Methods: A qualitative exploratory study was carried out in 2020 from January till June in the University College of medicine and dentistry. FGDs were conducted on zoom with purposive sampling of 30 students. FGD questions were validated and then piloted to ensure clarity. All FGDs were recorded on zoom and transcribed verbatim. Due to the sensitive nature of data, confidentiality and anonymity were ensured. Thematic analysis was employed to get meaning within the data set.
Results: Total 130 of codes were identified in the first cycle of coding that was further merged in the second cycle of coding leading to 110 codes. 19 subthemes under 4 major themes emerged from the transcripts. The main themes were the effects of the educational environment, peers, basic and clinical sciences teachers on students’ behavior. Discipline, extracurricular activities, discussions, student’s preferences, exchange of good habits, ethics, knowledge, punctuality, professionalism, and role modeling were positive effects while the use of social media, hang out, exchange of bad habits, favoritism, non-punctuality, haphazard teaching, and hierarchy were the negative effects in terms of the hidden curriculum identified through themes and subthemes.
Conclusion: This study revealed that there are both positive and negative effects of HC on students' personal and professional behavior. Negative effects are due to the unawareness of students, faculty, and curriculum reformers about the existence of HC. Information about problems related to HC as well as considering the viewpoints of students is mandatory. Based on current study findings certain recommendations are proposed for controlling and managing the negative effects of an HC which can be useful for educating and training the students and faculty with the desired performance in any educational institution.
KEYWORDS: Effects, Hidden Curriculum, Students behavior, Awareness, Side effects, Recommendations.