Didactics versus pedagogy, a personal note

From experience to meaning...

I’m attending ResearchED NY at the moment and during a discussion something popped up that I never noticed before. People were using pedagogy and didactics as almost synonyms. They aren’t.

If you do a Google check on the differences, you’ll get a lot of different possible distinctions. The distinction I learned at university way too long ago is the following:

  • pedagogy is the biggest of the two as it covers the why and how of education, but also talks and thinks about the curriculum, the values, the visions on education, etc. Pedagogy can therefor be more philosophical by moments.
  • didactics focuses on the how. It’s more mechanic, often easier to research.

When I talked with John Hattie a while ago when we discussed inclusive education, he only said something about the learning effect. This was a rather didactical answer. The discussion about inclusive education is more pedagogical than purely didactical.

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