Definition: Didactics

Came across a new word for my vocabulary:  didactics.

According to wikipedia, didactics describes theories surrounding learning and teaching in an education context.  The article goes on to say that a didactic method is a teaching method that focuses on student engagement and is underpinned by a science based approach. Constructivism is given as an example didactic method.

However, didactics is not to be confused with didactism. Based on the description from wikipedia, it would describe the usual way that I write.  Factual, to convey information with little fan-fare and attention to reader enjoyment.

An interesting quote from wikipedia:  “The opposite of ‘didactic’ is ‘non-didactic.’ If a writer is more concerned with artistic qualities and techniques than with conveying a message, then that piece of work is considered to be non-didactic, even if it is instructive/educational.”

I wonder whether there is a relationship between didacticism, and kiersey’s theories around personality types, and more specifically his comparison of concrete versus abstract communicators.

I can see that these two words (didactics and didacticism) are related in meaning.  Wikipedia goes on to say: “Didacticism is an artistic philosophy that emphasizes instructional and informative qualities in literature and other types of art. Didactic art should not primarily ‘entertain‘ or pursue the subjective goals of the artist.”

This statement could easily describe traditional education in my view.  Of course, this is not to say that education cannot be entertaining.  I have often read (although I can’t cite anyone just now) that learning should be fun.  Entertainment and fun are synonymous, so while entertainment is not the primary objective of didactics, it need not be mutually exclusive of it either.

Out of time as usual.

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One Response to “Definition: Didactics”

  1. [...] curriculum designers (or teacher developers), and administrators, we should leverage the existing didactic body of knowledge. Didactics alone is not enough.  We also need to reflect on our own experiences [...]

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