In a recent chat with a client, she mentioned the term “hidden curriculum”. I hadn’t come across that term before but as she talked, it became more and more familiar. When I got back to the office, I asked Wikipedia:
“A hidden curriculum is a side effect of an education, “[lessons] which are learned but not openly intended” such as the transmission of norms, values, and beliefs conveyed in the classroom and the social environment. Any learning experience may teach unintended lessons.”
At Maygrove we use a term “secret outcomes” to describe the deliberate unconscious teaching we plan into our workshops. In contrast to a hidden curriculum which suggests the hidden lessons are unintended (and probably negative), we think about the “intended” lessons we WANT our participants to receive, and build those in. For example, we choose facilitation as a style of education so that primarily the learners find the information they seek in themselves. We want to model (ie, teach unconsciously) that this is true for them (you can be the source of your own solutions) AND this is also true for people they manage (you can trust them, they do know and are more likely to follow through when they discover the solution for themselves).
The question we start with is: what are the useful beliefs or values someone needs to have for this technique or strategy to work for them?