Amy Heard Egbert, Ph.D.

Amy Heard Egbert, Ph.D.



On the “hidden curriculum” in academia. A 🧵

Last year @rowanahunt taught me the term “hidden curriculum” for the first time to describe all the rules and norms that you only learn if you know somebody who knows somebody 1/n

There’s a hidden curriculum in every field, but some days it feels like it’s the only kind of curriculum that exists in academia from the very beginning, and the rules feel like an ever-moving target 2/n

You wanna go to graduate school? Get one of the very few full time research assistant jobs before you even apply. But wait! The only way you get one of those is if you know somebody who knows somebody 3/n

Worked for low pay (or for free!) as an RA and now you’re finally ready to apply to grad school? Turns out the PI you worked for didn’t have enough academic street cred, so no one wants to interview you anyway 4/n

Tearing it up in grad school so you go above and beyond and apply for your first grant? Oooh, if your advisor doesn’t have federal funding, good luck getting it. Oooh, if you study race or disparities, you may never get it. We all know racism didn’t exist before 2020 5/n

Ready to get a postdoc (and feeling good for knowing you need one of those if you want a faculty position down the road)? Turns out if you don’t ask the right questions about the job, you might be a glorified research assistant for two or MORE years, making next to nothing 6/n

There is no question in my mind about why our departments and our faculty members are filled with the same kind of people. Everyone else is not only outside of “the room where it happens,” they may not even know the room exists 7/n

Let’s stop patting ourselves on the backs, like having one "underrepresented" person in the department, on the committee, on the board is going to fix the problem. Because I may have just learned what “hidden curriculum” meant, but I’ve always known who it’s hidden from. 8/8

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