TrainingZONE Glossary: Pedagogy/Didactic training

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Didactic Training / Pedagogy

Definition: Pedagogy is derived from an ancient Greek word referring to the science of teaching in a disciplined manner. In a training context, it is normally understood as defining the process of instructional training - with the tutor telling the student or group what to do. Similarly, a didactic approach to training is one that is dependent on the teacher to provide all the required instruction.

Whilst a didactic approach initially appear to be 'efficient' in conveying information or content to the learner, a great deal of research into the process of learning has revealed its limitations. Pedagogy rarely engages the students in the learning process (unless they are very well motivated) and the student usually remains a passive non-participant in their own learning. Our understanding of learning styles has led to the deliberate development and use of more varied teaching methods. Most trainers will now use more engaging learning methods to ensure a higher level of experiential or active learning.

Whilst pedagogy has long been seen as a traditional part of the educational process within schools, an increasing number of teachers are recognising its limitations and seeking to employ more student-discovery, self-enquiry, or active participation methods of teaching the curriculum.

Today, didactic training is usually reserved for situation requiring firm, clear instructions and where there is limited opportunity for student experimentation or practice. It is still employed in high-risk situations where health and safety factor may threaten injury or death. When a learning programme requires a large volume of data to be conveyed to the student, many trainers prefer to hand the data across in a published format, and allow each learner to read and review the data at their own pace and in their own time.

Feature articles on Didactic training:

n/a at present

Related resources:

The Toolkit contains a number of reference and practical trainer development materials which examine approaches to training delivery, including dealing with resistance, co-training a group and generating feedback.

Providers using a didactic approach in their work:

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