In the broad sense, any action taken by the teacher to ensure that his students learn the content to be taught is a didactic intervention.
However, there are some nuances and aspects to highlight in terms of the strategies they usually involve. Below, we’ll take a closer look at this concept.
What is a didactic intervention?
In general, it is understood by didactic intervention in the set of actions with a goal, proposed with the intention of achieving socially determined educational goals. The didactic intervention includes a set of phases with which we try to promote the learning of the didactic units stipulated in the school program.
This is a program or series of specific steps to help students acquire the learning described in the program. Interventions of this type can focus on areas such as reading, math or even physical education. They are designed for students to progress well throughout the school year and at the same time teachers and parents know how the process is going.
It should be understood that students can present all kinds of needs during the educational process, needs that need to be investigated and properly met. The didactic interventions focus on the academic sphere, that is to say the acquisition of knowledge or skills directly related to what is given in the classroom. They are not behavioral interventions until they focus on the behavior problems.
Among the characteristics that can be highlighted in this type of intervention, we have:
- They are intentional: they target a particular need or difficulty.
- They are specific and formal: they last a certain number of sessions.
- They are designed in such a way that student progress can be followed.
Although each didactic intervention has a specific objective, established according to the needs of the students and the demands of the program, depending on the pace in which the learning is given, the strategies applied can be modified. In other words, that is to say didactic interventions promote a certain flexibility. This can manifest itself in different ways, for example by incorporating more weekly reading sessions or by approaching classroom teaching in more depth.
Is it an adaptation?
It is important to emphasize that a didactic intervention is not an adaptation. It is not that the struggling student is left behind, but that the group is motivated to acquire the same knowledge, detecting any difficulties. The didactic interventions are applied in a way that allows pupils with a problem to catch up with the rest of the pupils, provided that this need can be satisfied without the need for adaptive means.
Usually, in an adaptation context, the student receives some kind of special support, either in the form of resources or, directly, by taking him or her to a special classroom. For example, one adaptation would be to give a visually impaired student a textbook with larger letters and a special flashlight or glasses so that he can read what others are reading.
This does not mean that a disabled person cannot benefit from a didactic intervention or that he cannot learn equivalent subjects to the rest of the children in his class. What we want to emphasize here is that an adaptation consists in “translating” the content of the class in a way closer to the level of the pupil, While with the didactic intervention, it is expected that you will acquire the same levels of knowledge as the rest of the classmates.
How to develop a didactic intervention?
The first thing to do when applying an educational intervention is delimit, define and formulate the objectives to be achieved with him. These must be both general, that is to say extrapolable to the rest of life, and didactic, centered on what is given in class and oriented towards passing exams, knowing how to do homework, relating knowledge acquired in nature, in the city … The fact that the objectives are, of course, the last thing which will end up leading to their delimitation is the first thing to raise in a teaching-learning process.
In an educational context, goals are all the behaviors that students are expected to exhibit as a result of certain teaching activities. These behaviors must be able to be observed and evaluated. The word “behavior” should be understood in its broadest sense., Since it includes all models of intellectual, expressive, operational and ethical behavior, related to the content given in class.
The teaching activities must be subordinated to the didactic objectives and, at the same time, not lose sight of the learning process, in order to detect possible problems in the classroom. This is why it is so important to understand that these didactic interventions must allow a certain flexibility in the application of the teaching activities, since the level of the students can always have been overestimated or that needs appear which make them have. been rethinking the original goals.
The contents that must form the academic program they must be chosen according to the objectives to be achieved. To do this, the teacher must ask himself a series of questions to ensure that what he is going to teach relates to what he wants the students to accomplish:
- What to teach?
- Why teach?
- When to teach
- How to teach?
Essentially, the contents are the instruments used by the teachers to achieve the objectives set in each of the teaching units in which the given subject is structured.
Several principles can be followed when selecting topic content. However, the basic and indispensable thing is that no matter how much everything is taught in the classroom, students will not learn absolutely everything that has been explained. There will always be something that will cost them more and that’s why it must be prioritized in content that is more relevant and easily linked to the life of the individual.
In addition to the choice of content according to the objectives to be achieved, there are several criteria that can be applied when selecting content:
- Basic or scientific structure of the content.
- Functionality and relevance of content.
- Logical meaning of content.
- Limitations of conditions: type of material, structure and schedule.
- Own training, interest and professionalism of the person who is to teach it.
Example of didactic interventions
Didactic interventions do not involve the simple exposure of the content to be given. It is about promoting the retention of this content through various strategies in which the students are involved so that they manage to acquire a better depth and familiarity with the concepts given in a classroom context. To understand in a practical way a simple case of didactic intervention, we have the following example:
We have a classroom where the math teacher is aware that many of his students have serious attention problems, but they are not pathological or due to a diagnosis of ADHD.
The teacher, to avoid them being distracted, generally applies strategies in which they focus for a while while moving and having fun. A good idea is to give each student a number or a plus (+), minus (-), or equal (=) sign. Then, to become familiar with addition and subtraction, he asks the students to position themselves by forming equations that result in the value that the teacher says or that he says is what he gives.
In this way the teacher manages teaching its content, in this case knowing how to add and subtract, using a fun technique that allows students to understand arithmetic in a practical way. In this case, seeing that there was a difficulty, in particular the lack of attention, he chose to use a resource in which they are not immobile, to avoid the moments when they can be distracted by any other stimulus. than the content taught in class.
- López-Moya, M. (2004). The didactic intervention. Physical education resources. Teaching, 22, 263-282.