School Didactics and Learning: A School Didactic Model Framing an Analysis of Pedagogical Implications of Learning Theory

School Didactics and Learning: A School Didactic Model Framing an Analysis of Pedagogical Implications of Learning Theory

School Didactics and Learning: A School Didactic Model Framing an Analysis of Pedagogical Implications of Learning Theory

School Didactics and Learning: A School Didactic Model Framing an Analysis of Pedagogical Implications of Learning Theory

Synopsis

In this book a new theory on instruction is presented - a reflective theory of school didactics - uniquely incorporating continental German and Nordic research traditions in the theory of didactics (Didaktik), together with Anglo-American research on teaching (instructional research) and cognitivist theory. School didactics is defined as a field of research within general education. This field is limited to research and theory aiming at understanding the pedagogical practice which takes place in institutionalized educational settings guided by a curriculum collectively agreed upon. As the theory is designed to be valid for institutionalized education framed by a politically accepted curriculum, it is a culturally seen regional theory of education, not a universal one. According to this school theory the fundamental features of an institutionalized pedagogical process consist in the intentional, interactional, teaching-studying-learning process that is culturally and historically developed and situated. However, the present model does not explicitly formulate goals nor the means of educational practice. Rather, the model emphasizes the teacher and student as reflective and intentional subjects where the teacher is acting as the representative of the collective but also as the learners' advocate. Because of this the theory presented is not a normative or prescriptive theory, instead it is a reflective theory.

Excerpt

Institutional education is an intentional and interactive process through which individuals become encultured into the complex web of human competence and social networks constituting societies. Becoming encultured requires the student's intentional development of competence and personal identity.

The human ability to learn is a fundamental prerequisite for this process to occur. Without accepting this, practical educational activity is rather meaningless. However, we know well that intentional teaching does not always lead to learning. Nor does an individual's intentional study activity necessarily lead to what was striven for. Therefore, as teaching intends to support the student's activities aiming at learning, it may be asked how teaching and learning are related more precisely.

If pedagogical practice aims at supporting learning, then it is also relevant to ask how educational theory is related to learning. One reason why this question is important is that insights into teaching and learning are considered to constitute aspects of a teacher's professional competence (Francis, 1985).

Individual teachers' understanding of teaching and learning varies considerably (Pratt, 1992; Prawat, 1992; Prosser, Trigwell, & Taylor, 1994). Also, educational theories relate differently to learning theory. Yet educational or instructional theory should be quite explicit with respect to how learning is dealt with (Diederich, 1988, p. 34).

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