Education: Learning to Rise above Poverty 16
curriculum. The hidden curriculum is the manner in which the lessons are taught and the classroom is managed. It is a pedagogical approach. James Cangelosi (2008) stated that the teacher should manage the classroom in a businesslike manner. This includes being organized, modeling appropriate behavior, minimizing transition time, properly communicating with students, providing a safe, comfortable environment, and clearly presenting expectations. These aspects should be incorporated into the classroom at all times. They should never be taught in isolation (Cangelosi, 2008). This leads the argument of social-emotional learning to another level. If theory, philosophy, and research conclude that these practices are the most successful method of engaging students, teaching social skills, and increasing motivation and academic achievement, then why are they not implemented throughout classrooms nationwide?
One major reason for the lack of implementation is No Child Left Behind.
The stress created by NCLB has also led to other major problems. Many teachers have developed a number of physical and emotional problems, have become cynical, feel as though they are failures, and have developed negative attitudes. This is not only due to accountability issues but also to increasing paperwork and job duties. All of these stressors combined then lead to decreased achievement because the students’ learning suffers due to the teachers’ stress levels and attitudes (Harrington & Holub, 2006). Another cycle then begins for low-achieving students. The increase of stress in the school environment and high emphasis placed on passing the test leads to low-achieving students becoming overwhelmed and giving up (Machtinger, 2007). For the most part, the low-achieving students are from low-income families and have little or no support at home. This aspect seems to be widening the achievement gap that has been