Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Linda Silvernail


The purpose of this action research study is to understand the impact of revealing the hidden curriculum on veteran teachers. It utilized the theoretical frameworks of hidden curriculum, cognitive dissonance, and transformative learning in an effort to develop a tool that could be used to motivate teachers to reflect upon and ultimately improve their core curricular and pedagogical beliefs and practices. I studied three veteran social studies teachers as they reflected upon one aspect of their hidden curriculum obtained through a survey of their students. The intent was to create a disorienting dilemma with enough power to spark cognitive dissonance, thereby resulting in the teachers experiencing an increased desire to grow. The results showed that simply reflecting upon the student-provided data was not significant enough to motivate the teachers to want to change their teaching practices. However, coupling of the process with the addition of reflection on their current curricular and pedagogical beliefs increased the desire of some of the participating to alter their practices. To motivate teachers to challenge and change their core curricular and pedagogical beliefs may require a more complete process like transformative learning to succeed. The process describe in this study, with proper modifications can be an effective tool for those who wish to motivate and engage with teachers in the growth process.