Didactics 101

It is usual to find products and activities for children where the concept of didactics appears. “Teaching content”, “Teaching material” and “Teaching game” are, to cite a few cases by way of example, phrases that frequently resonate in the minds of many adults. However, many times we lose sight of the theoretical definitions and we are then left without identifying what words like the one mentioned mean, specifically. For this reason, today we will try to provide interesting data that will allow us to discover what, exactly, didactics is.

In more technical terms, didactics is the branch of pedagogy that is responsible for finding methods and techniques to improve teaching, defining guidelines to ensure that knowledge reaches the educated in a more efficient way.

Didactics aims to improve learning.

What is didactics

Experts say that didactics is understood as that discipline of a scientific-pedagogical nature that focuses on each of the stages of learning. In other words, it is the branch of pedagogy that allows approaching, analyzing and designing the schemes and plans destined to capture the bases of each pedagogical theory.

This discipline that establishes the principles of education and serves teachers when selecting and developing content pursues the purpose of ordering and supporting both the teaching models and the learning plan. The didactic act is called the circumstance of teaching for which certain elements are needed: the teacher (who teaches), the student (who learns) and the learning context.

Classification Forms

Regarding the qualification of didactics, it can be understood in different ways: exclusively as a technique, as an applied science, simply as a theory or as a basic science of instruction. The didactic models, on the other hand, can be characterized by a theoretical (descriptive, explanatory and predictive) or technological (prescriptive and normative) profile.

It should be noted that, throughout history, education has progressed and, within the framework of these advances, didactic references have been modernized.

At first, for example, there was a model that emphasized both the teaching staff and the type of content provided to the student (process-product model), without taking into account the chosen method, the teaching framework or the learner..

Over the years, a more active system has been adopted where creative skills and comprehension are attempted to be stimulated through personal practice and essays. On the other hand, the so-called mediational model seeks to generate and enhance individual skills to achieve self-training. With cognitive sciences at the service of didactics, the didactic systems of recent years have become more flexible and have a greater scope.

Didactics is considered as a branch of pedagogy.

Teaching models

Currently there are three well-differentiated didactic models: the normative (focused on the content), the incentive (focused on the student) and the approximate (for whom the construction that the student makes of the new knowledge prevails).

Education, as well as the rest of the world, was changing and adapting to the times, for that reason its didactic models were changing. What was recommended twenty years ago and applied in all schools, today is not only not used but is considered negative for education.

In its beginnings, education was governed by a traditional didactic model, which focused on teaching without caring too much how, the methods were not studied in depth, nor the contexts in which they tried to impart knowledge or the situation of each individual; currently when trying to teach it is very important to use a didactic that includes a previous analysis of the context of the students in general and of each individual, that seeks to approach each one and develop the self-training skills, essential so that the knowledge achieved can be applied in the daily life of individuals.

The view of different specialists

For Aebli, didactics is a science that helps Pedagogy for everything that has to do with the most general educational tasks. He assures that scientific didactics is the result of the knowledge of the educational processes in the intellect of an individual and the methodologies used.

Mattos expresses that for him it consists of a pedagogical doctrine whose goal is to define an adequate teaching technique and effectively direct the learning of a group. It has a practical and normative character that must be respected.

Stöcker, for his part, assures that it is a theory that allows instructions to be given in school education at all levels. He analyzes all aspects of teaching (phenomena, precepts, principles, laws, etc.); while Larroyo presents it as the study of procedures in the task of teaching.


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