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Didactics can be defined as the science of teaching and learning. This concerns teaching and learning at school, at university, at youth work or at adult education centres. In Germany, didactics is part of school pedagogy. Didactics includes questions like ‘Which content should be taught?’, ‘How is it taught?’, ‘Why is it taught?’, ‘When and where should pupils learn?’, ‘How should something be taught?’. In the German tradition, didactics is first interested in the normative dimension of teaching and in the dialectical pedagogical encounter in the classroom. Its intension is to provide teachers with a model of teaching which enables them to structure the planning, organisation and realisation of lessons. It has, in fact, so far concentrated more on the instructional process of teaching than on the learning process and the cognitive dimension of pupils learning. Didactics has only little empirical tradition and stays therefore in a certain contrast to empirically and psychologically based research of learning and instruction. In GOETE the term »didactics« is needed in WP 3 (»comparison of teacher training«).


Kansanen, Pertti (2002): Didactics and its relation to Educational Psychology: Problems of translating a key concept across research communities, in: International Review of Education 48 (3), pp. 427-441.

Meyer, Meinert A. (2007): Didactics, Sense Making, und Educational Experience. In: European Educational Research Journal 6 (2), 161-173.

Shirley, Dennis L. (2009): American Perspectives on German Educational Theory and Research – A Closer Look at Both the American Educational Context and the German Didaktik Tradition, in: Karl-Heinz Arnold, Sigrid Blömeke, Messner, Rudolf Messner and Jörg Schlömerkemper (eds): Allgemeine Didaktik und Lehr-Lernforschung. Kontroversen und Entwicklungsperspektiven einer Wissenschaft vom Unterricht, pp. 195-210. Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt.

(Thorsten Bohl & Colin Cramer)