Yes. I am running behind. Again. However, I do not take my post tardiness as a lack of excitement and drive to complete the A to Z Blogging Challenge! I am having a ball writing my posts and reading all the great posts by the other bloggers’ posts! Kudos to everyone participating!!
Today’s (really yesterday’s because it is after midnight right now–oops!) letter is D and my word is didactic. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives the origin and definition as:
Didaktikos is a Greek word that means “apt at teaching.” It comes from didaskein, meaning “to teach.” Something “didactic” does just that: teaches or instructs. “Didactic” conveyed that neutral meaning when it was first borrowed in the 17th century, and still does; a didactic piece of writing is one that is meant to be instructive. Parables are generally didactic because they aim to teach a moral lesson. “Didactic” now sometimes has negative connotations, too, however. Something “didactic” is often overburdened with instruction to the point of being dull. Or it might be pompously instructive or moralistic.
The negative connotation derives from the understanding that didactic teaching refers to instructing the “Old Fashioned” way. The teacher stands in front of his or her classroom and lectures on and on to the class with very little or no participation from the students other than questions or requests for further explanation.
This style is now considered, through recent science and research, to be “dated” & the least effective method of delivering instruction and you can pretty much forget about student retention and mastery of the material being presented.
We all had at least one class where the teacher spouted off information, we wrote down what we thought was important and our grades were dependent how much of his or her rumblings we could regurgitate back on the test.
I bet we could fill the comments section of this post with stories about that one teacher who bored us to tears. Sister Clauretta’s 8th grade religion class and Ancient Civilizations 101, my sophomore in college, taught me the fine art of didactic teaching and very little else because I was bored to death in both classes!! I knew this style of teaching sucked long before I ever entered the school of education!!
Fast forward to the 21st century and I think most people would agree, the American education system has managed to evolve— at least on this topic— and teachers now understand the need for student engagement and participation in their own learning.
Now–don’t get me wrong–I know there are a few dinosaurs out there still insisting on teaching the way “we have always done it” and their students are probably getting really sound sleep in their classes.
To celebrate our knowledge about student engagement & the near extinction of didactic teaching strategies, I am going to dedicate the rest of the letters of the alphabet in my A to Z Blogging Challenge to student engagement strategies and total participation techniques in the classroom. Yeahhhhhh!!!!
Every teacher I know is always looking for a great way to get their students involved, interested and invested in their own learning, so tomorrow we will begin with Total Participation Hacks!!!
Until tomorrow, I thank you for your attention, and I’m out of here