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  • Gabriela Moreira

The school's hidden curriculum

The school has a hidden curriculum that operates on the backdrops of literacy, mathematics, science, and the famous 'what do you want to be when you grow up'. These topics, subjects, are in fact a façade, a cover for what is really going on behind the curtains.

The proof is that if you ask anyone who has been out of school for 10, 5, or even 2 years how much they remember, the answer you will get is a number around 95%, and look at that. Do you by any chance remember Baskara's formula? Or those giant physics formulas?

However, I am sure you remember:

  • The time you tried to speak up in front of the class and were humiliated or suffered some kind of bullying;

  • The moment with friends on the playground when you learned to negotiate, to relate, to express yourself;

  • The alchemist teacher who made you see life and the whole world differently;

  • Of the moment when you were very afraid of not passing the year and being separated from your friends;

What really stays from school are not the subjects. It is the moments. And some of those moments contain a hidden curriculum that stays with you for the rest of your life. And about this curriculum nobody talks.

There is a thoughtware, a way of thinking that is much more impregnating, that can pass years, decades, and it continues to act on you: the school construct. It is so veiled, contrived, and hidden to those inside the system that you have probably been able to go your whole life without realizing that it runs your life, without realizing that you are still in school!

And what is this hidden curriculum of the school that is still at work in the schools and also in you (even if you have left school)?

📌"If I make a mistake, I am a failure. I might not pass the year."

In this school construct, mistakes are punished in every way; you can be separated from your classmates because you made a mistake, because you didn't give the answer they say is right. A mistake for a child is often almost equivalent to death.

And do you want me to prove to you how you have not forgotten this? Think about how many times you have failed to start something because deep down you were afraid of making a mistake? How many times did you not even try something because you knew you would get feedback? How many times have you received feedback and spent your energy creating stories about how you are shit and not good enough?

📌To be applauded, recognized and seen you need to be the best.

Study to get better grades, train to win gold, work hard to get a position. An internal and immediate relationship is created: to be loved, to be recognized, I have to work hard, I have to do it. The consequences of this in life is that you are always looking for approval. You don't have your voice and your authority. You wait for the judgment of others. You live your life according to what others say about you.

Furthermore, "being the best" presupposes that there is a 'worst'. This naturally instills competition into your thinking. You devote much of your energy thinking about how to be better. On how to knock your friends down, on how to get there faster, on how to say it prettier, on how to show up more.

📌"Lone wolf"

We are in a context where we have the largest amount of population in history and at the same time, we have the highest rate of loneliness and suicide ever. Why, even surrounded by so many people, do we act like lone wolves?

In this school construct, the one who gets the highest grade wins. Who is the most 'intelligent'. In it we learn almost by osmosis to compete. This purpose serves a political purpose to keep you believing that you are alone and have to accumulate individually. If that purpose is no longer propagated in schools 'economics' stops. Profits freeze, GDP decreases and the human species thrives on gaia.

📌 The teacher knows more than I know.

Always looking for an external authority for you to surrender your center and get rid of the responsibility of your own path; The school construct has control, obedience as its central axis, we learn since childhood to surrender our power center, our voice, to delegate our decisions, even to ask if 'can I go to the bathroom'.

How is this still in you? You get on a bus, you see a woman being harassed, and you pretend that you didn't see it, because you believe that it is the responsibility of the police to do something. You are in a meeting at work and you don't bring your perspective to it, because the boss won't 'like it'. You look for a guru who will give you all the answers and solutions for your life. You cut your roots with gaia hoping someone will come and nurture you.

📌Right answers are more important than questions.

Curiosity and questions are killed. You spend more time putting things and more things in your head than making room for genuine questions. You get bogged down in just one right answer; how is that still in you? You enter into a being-to-be conversation, and are so preoccupied with finding THE right answer that you kill the opportunity to create connection and intimacy with that human being in front of you.

📌A life waiting for the playground.

From a very young age you cherish the future, the 'when it's over'. When I pass the year I will be able to learn music. When I finish this homework I can play. When I get out of remedial school I can go back to playing video games. When I get into college I will be happy. When the vacations come I will paint and write poetry. From a very early age you learned to sell today to have tomorrow. You became a prostitute of the system and of time.

This part of the school construct is very clear when you talk to anyone on the street going to or coming back from work: 'when the weekend comes I can be with my son'.

📌 A life in a fantasy world.

School is totally disconnected from reality. You learn about the planets, things that happened centuries ago, you learn about chemistry, but you don't learn to cook, to relate, to be healthy, to feel, to communicate, to set limits, to be present, to deal with trauma, with abuse.

School is a fantasy world. It is not a priority to learn how to live. So where do we learn how to live?

📌You need to know to do.

If you don't know you have no value. Experimentation is cut off, you learn to live in the empire of your mind. As an 'adult' you stop doing a lot of things because you 'don't know'; Knowing is the most valuable thing in the world, and the problem with that is that you reduce all your possibilities of learning to just your mental body. This excludes people who learn in other ways, and excludes other beings. It excludes the value of being with, it excludes the value of being present without understanding. To be incompetent at something is almost a curse.

You become unable to be present with things that are completely unattainable and completely unknown. You become limited from being present and experiencing love, the great mysteries of the universe, intimacy, community, because they are totally scary and unknown things.

📌A hierarchical culture

Some know and some don't. More specifically teachers know and students do not. Teachers are adults and can "teach" children. Control, obedience.

We don't have adults who have the ability to hold space for the transformation of other people and especially for human beings who are still learning how to be human beings. Teachers don't have developed inner qualities (it's not about technique, or being more professional, it's about being human) to support space for these children. We need adults to raise adults.

📌You need to study while they sleep

A frantic pace to become someone in life (is there a more ridiculous expression than that?), a competition with oneself to perform better. The intellectual body is the most valued in the world. There are no feelings and emotions in education, just as there is no room for them at work. There is no nourishment for any of the other bodies. The energetic and emotional bodies are completely atrophied. Energy body is about your personal sense of space, your sense of time, this is mine this is yours, you don't have clarity about your spaces, you can't create what I come to create in the world because you are totally influenced by the world.

(These things I have mentioned are just a few, of the many elements that make up this curriculum that I have been observing and researching in my personal life and also researching and observing how schools operate)

And where do we learn all this from? How do you still carry all of this in your baggage?

Just from these things listed above, how many of them are you daily in your life? In your work? In your family? In your way of thinking and acting?

You have probably spent more than a decade of your life within the school system that has blocked and buried your creativity, authenticity, spontaneity, expression, intimacy, liveliness, and much more. And yet, you don't even see a problem with that, because you are too anesthetized to feel the pain of having your humanity murdered. It's not about declaring war on schools. It's about feeling the pain that living in this construct causes in your life.

Something really changes when the pain of staying is greater than the pain of leaving. For me to choose to leave the school construct was necessary for me to feel all the sadness, fear, and anger of continuing to reproduce it in life and in Gaia. During the Heal From School Lab, there was a moment when this pain became so excruciating, so great, that it became impossible to stay in the construct.

What kept me in the construct of school was the fear of going out and being excluded, being seen as crazy, being rejected for not thinking like the majority, going hungry, running out of money for choosing to be outside the system. When I let these fears grow, without trying to rationalize them, I realized that in fact the fear of staying in this construct and losing my liveliness, spontaneity, freedom, lightness, presence, authority, voice was much greater than the fear of leaving.

Besides, I discovered the benefits of staying inside the school. Being in this construct to this day has allowed me to keep myself small, average, and isolated, to play dumb at times and pretend I don't know the answer to something just to manipulate it. It has allowed me to judge the work of others from afar, secretly comparing it to some ideal from my fantasy worlds that make me compete madly to achieve it, and that at the first slightest sign of disagreement with what I expected, I could resent this creative, spontaneous and grandiose being and reject it and have enough reasons to get back at it. I could ask sneaky, strategic questions to manipulate and control others so that they could express my ideas, so that I wouldn't take the risks alone. It allowed me to constantly prove that I am right and that my ideas are genius and that I am better than everyone else. These are some of the foods I discovered in this training that have been nourishing the hungry gremlin that is the queen of my underworld.

In addition I have discovered the benefits I get from staying within the school. Being in this construct to this day has allowed me to stay small, average and isolated, to play dumb at times and pretend I don't know the answer to something

After accessing and feeling all of this, in all 5 of my bodies, I made new choices. I chose to let go of this construct that ideas can be owned, that making mistakes is despicable, and that my value is in doing. I chose to let go of this idea that I need to prove and be recognized and applauded, even if I have to go over the heads of others. I chose and choose to trust my anger to put my boundaries clearly and keep my center with me, without using it as a manipulation strategy. I have chosen and continue to choose to trust my fear of running out of money to create the most fun, integrative, creative, and authentic ways to take care of myself and support myself. I am choosing to write and share the golds that overflowed in this training with my community, no longer being a lone wolf.

This doesn't mean that the habits I created by living for years in this school construct simply disappeared after these 5 days. They are still here and it will still take time for them to remodel themselves. It is like wanting to use a clay that made a pot to now make a toy. The process is not difficult, but it is not instantaneous and it takes a while for the clay to become usable again. It is necessary to put it in a liquid state, soften it, and mold it little by little into a new shape. So is the construction of new habits from a new decision; and what shapes the new shape? Practice. Practice at an exceptional level.

One of the practices I have been nurturing and doing is: asking. Incessantly and dangerously. To ask the most unusual and seemingly strange questions that jump out at me, even to strange people, without expecting and wanting a single answer. Without finding the right answer, or the best one. Questions are killed in this school construct, and I am willing to recover this capacity of my being. Questions have the ultimate power to drive the way we think. Why do you think what you think, and how you think it? Why do you believe that a chair is a chair?

The form determines the shape. So it's not about creating new schools. It's about updating the mold with which schools are made. Today much is said about new methods, new spaces. However, very little is said about the construct, about what is behind it, about the purpose. There is no point in creating methodologies, spaces, structures, if the mold is the same. At the root, if the mold doesn't change, the result will inevitably be the same.

The school construct is the roots of patriarchy. It is the conformation of human minds into square molds to serve this sick system. The purpose with which something is created manifests itself and stays until it is transformed. And the purpose determines the context, and the context determines what is possible.

And what is the real purpose of the school today? If we look at the mold of the design that is in place, it is clear that the purpose has not been updated. It is the same as it was 200 years ago when it was first created. To transform human beings into industrial workers. As much as some schools bring different currents and lines of pedagogies and methodologies, in essence, the purpose remains the same. The juice is still on hierarchy, competition, superiority, separation. It is still about evaluating and preparing students to pass the vestibular and get a university seat. The building blocks are still that same construct.

The purpose determines what is possible. So, to update what is possible to be done in school, we have to update the purpose of the school.

What could be the purpose of this learning space that I don't even know if I would call school (because the name brings the energy and if I use the name school immediately comes the purpose that it has carried all these years).

The purpose of this space in which children and young people are placed most of their lives could be, for example: space to nurture and awaken the potency of each seed.

What differentiates an orange seed from an orange? The shape. Apparently they are different, but one is contained in the other. For a seed to be born, no more information is needed. The gene is already there. It just needs to be awakened. It just needs fertilizer, water, sun, air and time. It doesn't need to be added genes, improvements, to suffer alterations, to go through trials, as is being done today by the transgenic scientists. That is what education can be about: creating the conditions for the seed to germinate.

Talking to some people about this topic, there were phrases like: 'Yes, but the school is important, there are things that need to be changed, transformed in it, but we can't destroy it, or change it overnight.

The point is that you don't change things by fighting against them, you change something by building the new, so that the old becomes obsolete. And building the new doesn't have to mean destroying what already is. You don't have to sit around waiting for this long-awaited new education to emerge. The new begins inside each one of us. It starts with your decision to leave school. The construction of this new begins with you healing yourself from school. It starts with you no longer having to know in order to do things. It starts with you doing things even though you know you will make mistakes. It starts with you committing to create something different in your life, in your family, in your village, in your heart. It starts with you stopping denying your dark world and acknowledging it, making a commitment to become aware of the competition, the hierarchy, the manipulation within you.

The healing of one is the healing of all, and the building of a new education is the reconnection to what it is to be human. I am committed to this journey. I am committed to your commitment. And you?


  1. Choose 1 day to do everything purposely wrong. Write wrong, say the wrong name of references, put your shirt on the 'wrong' side. Throughout the day observe the feedback people give you and how you react internally to it. What feelings arise when someone says, 'you wrote that word wrong'. You will find doors of emotions about the past. Write them down and commit to getting a space helper to do an emotional healing process.

  2. Participate in an Expand The Box. It is a transformational space where you will learn fundamental things about being human, these tools will help you get out of school for sure! On November 15th there will be one in Brazil, look for @israelkairos to know more and make your registration.

  3. Write down for a week all the communications that you could not complete for some reason. It can be with a teacher, with a classmate that you had a fight with, with your mother or father. Write them down one by one. Every communication that is not completed persists. You have a lot of unsaid things that are taking away your energy and your presence. Invite someone and go take care of it.

Love and Adventure,

Unfolding Essence Gabriela

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