Concept

Didactic method

Summary
A didactic method (διδάσκειν didáskein, "to teach") is a teaching method that follows a consistent scientific approach or educational style to present information to students. The didactic method of instruction is often contrasted with dialectics and the Socratic method; the term can also be used to refer to a specific didactic method, as for instance constructivist didactics. Didactics is a theory of teaching, and in a wider sense, a theory and practical application of teaching and learning. In demarcation from "mathetics" (the science of learning), didactics refers only to the science of teaching. This theory might be contrasted with open learning, also known as experiential learning, in which people can learn by themselves, in an unstructured manner (or in an unusually structured manner) as in experiential education, on topics of interest. It can also be contrasted with autodidactic learning, in which one instructs oneself, often from existing books or curricula. The theory of didactic learning methods focuses on the baseline knowledge students possess and seeks to improve upon and convey this information. It also refers to the foundation or starting point in a lesson plan, where the overall goal is knowledge. A teacher or educator functions in this role as an authoritative figure, but also as both a guide and a resource for students. Didactics or the didactic method have different connotations in continental Europe and English-speaking countries. Didacticism was indeed the cultural origin of the didactic method but refers within its narrow context usually pejoratively to the use of language to a doctrinal end. The interpretation of these opposing views are theorised to be the result of a differential cultural development in the 19th century when Great Britain and its former colonies went through a renewal and increased cultural distancing from continental Europe. It was particularly the later appearance of Romanticism and Aestheticism in the Anglo-Saxon world which offered these negative and limiting views of the didactic method.
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