The dictionary meaning of didactic is “intended to teach, particularly in having moral instruction as an ulterior motive,” which summarises to “inclined to teach or moralize excessively.” The adjective didactic is derived from the Greek ‘didaktikos’ (didactics), which means skillful in training. If something is designed or intended to teach people something we can call it didactic.
Parables are generally didactic because they aim to teach a moral lesson.
The tale of the crow and the pitcher is a didactic story
Didactics is a teacher-centered method of instruction in which teachers deliver and students receive lessons, best suited to brief delivery of factual information. Didactic teaching is one of the two main teaching methods (the other is dialectics). Didactics conveyed a neutral meaning when it was first borrowed in the 17th century, and it still does; a didactic piece of writing is meant to be instructive as well as artistic.
The Meaning of Didactics
The term “didactics” refers to the science of teaching (concerning aims, subject matter, methods, and frameworks) within a specific field. Didactics is based on multiple theories of teaching, and in a wider sense, the theory and practical application of teaching and learning methods. Textbooks and “how-to” guides or tutorials are all examples of “didacticism” since their ultimate purpose is to instruct and educate.
Didactic teaching is a method of teaching that focuses on the teacher who imparts the necessary theoretical knowledge to the students. In this teaching method, teachers create structured lessons by focusing on lectures. This type of teaching is generally suitable for teaching elementary subjects and showing students how to get the most out of learning through structured guidelines.
How does the Didactic Method Work?
The theory of didactic teaching emphasizes basic knowledge. Students get knowledge from planned lectures. It also refers to the foundation or starting point of the lesson plan, where the only objective is knowledge. Teachers or educators play an official role in guiding students to learn.
The didactic triangle is a graphical model that describes the desirable design of the teaching and learning process in the didactic teaching method. It focuses primarily on the teaching and learning process. The didactic triangle has three entities - teacher, student, and teaching content, forming the vertices or nodes of the triangle. It illustrates the classical method used to formulate teaching and learning concepts - especially in the field of formal education.
Source: Research Gate
The above-mentioned figure is the "didactic triangle". The three vertices of the triangle represent the didactic teaching situation:
- The knowledge aspect or content to be taught
- The teacher
- The student
In this triangle, the three sides indicate paired significance:
- The teacher-content side is related to the didactic extension
- The student-content side is related to pedagogical appropriation
- The teacher-student side is related to didactic interaction
In what is called a teaching situation, the knowledge, or materials are given to the teacher to teach the students.
Didactic Teaching Approach
In the didactic method, teachers make use of scheduled lessons and lectures to teach students directly by demonstrating the concepts. Students understand the concepts demonstrated and explained by the teacher. Problem-solving exercises complement education.
The didactic teaching method has the following features.
- Structured Lessons: The teacher does organize lesson plans to inform students directly through using instructional teaching.
- Teacher-centered teaching: In the didactic teaching method, more importance is given to the lecture given by the teacher to the student. Most of the time, students take notes, ask questions and learn from lectures.
- Sustainable Education Design: An important aspect of the doctrinal education system is the continuous learning plan. In general, the class schedule does not change much from day to day according to the pedagogical teaching method.
- Setting Learning Objectives: Teachers in the didactic teaching method set definite learning objectives for students. They create lesson plans and lectures to help their students learn the curriculum and ensure that students can achieve their learning objectives.
- Recurrent Performance Evaluation: To help achieve students' academic goals, teachers conduct regular assessments to assess their students' progress and assess students' comprehension of the subject.
- Group Discussion: In the didactic teaching approach, group discussion sessions consisting of lectures and readings are conducted. Teachers conduct discussions, where they encourage students by asking open questions related to the lessons learned, allowing the student to think seriously about the subject. Overall, the group discussion results in collaborative learning.
Why the didactic method is different from the dialectical method?Didactic teaching methods are often compared to Dialectical and Socratic methods. The term can also be used to refer to a particular doctrinal method, for example, constructivist theory.
The dialectical method is used to the discourse between two or more people who have different opinions on a subject but want to establish the truth through logical reasoning. Once you are comfortable asking your students questions, you may want to improve your understanding of dialectical instructions. Use questions to check your student's comprehension in two levels- ironic and maieutic. In an ironic state, you examine the imperfections of his thoughts, perhaps weakening his confidence. In the meiotic phase, teachers are actively examining the thought process of students. Finally, a more accurate understanding of the facts is obtained. This method is easy to use, but in another way, it is extremely difficult.
The table below lists the distinguishing features for didactic versus dialectical methods:
Both teaching methods, rooted in classical teaching, are involved in questioning ideas. Teachers can use different teaching methods depending on the needs of their students, their personal preferences, and other factors inspiring learning. However, the didactic method is very effective when the student wants to understand an idea or interpret a work of creation.