# 29 April 2015: Seminar by Dr Robin Hankin, SCMS, AUT, "The “hidden curriculum” in mathematics education"

The concept of "hidden curriculum" is usually invoked in the context of undesirable sociological states such as unconscious sexism, but is equally applicable to the inculcation of beliefs about a particular subject or discipline. Here, I propose a hidden curriculum of mathematics, specifically the belief that mathematics as a discipline comprises little more than communicating answers to a person to whom the answer is already known. Many students of mathematics would consider this to be a reasonable conclusion given many commonly used pedagogical techniques in mathematics, in particular the heavy use of Socratic questioning. I suggest that portfolio assessment mitigates many of the difficulties of the hidden Socratic curriculum of mathematics.

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