Teaching As A Reflective Practice: The German Didaktik Tradition

Ian Westbury, Stefan Hopmann, Kurt Riquarts

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


When Klaus Westphalen in Kiel, Karl Frey in Zurich, or Bjørg Gundem in Oslo want to explain to their student teachers how to prepare lessons, they all use the same term: in German Didaktik, and in Norwegian didaktikk. This word, in English didactics, originates from the Greek didaskein, which meant "to teach, to be a teacher, to educate." Didaktikos meant "apt at teaching" or "instructive" and didaskaleion was a school. In modern German, Didaktik is generally defined as the art or study of teaching, with didaktisch as the adjective and Didaktikum denoting a teacher-training institution. This usage dates from 17th-century pedagogy, particularly as set out by Wolfgang Ratke (Ratichius; 1571-1670) in Germany and the Bohemian bishop Jan Amos Komensky (Comenius; 1592-1670), both of whom used the Latinized term didactica for their theories of teaching. These theories were discussed throughout Europe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages360
ISBN (Electronic)9780203357781
ISBN (Print)9781138983670, 9780805829204
StatePublished - Sep 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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