Didactic planning: what it is and how it develops in education

In any school year, it is essential that the teacher thinks over, before the start of lessons, what the course of the lesson will look like. You will have to think about the objectives to be achieved, the strategies and content to be taught, the evaluation method, among other aspects.

All this is taken into account when didactic planning, The process in which the curriculum is developed and predicts, more or less precisely, how the course will evolve. Below we will take a closer look at what it is and how it is made.

    What is didactic planning?

    Didactic planning, or instructional programming, is the process by which the teacher makes a series of decisions about the educational content to be taught, transforming them into specific activities and specific, so that they can establish knowledge among their students.

    During didactic planning, a program is drawn up in which it is tried to incorporate all the knowledge that one wants to watch. It also takes into account the objectives, the characteristics of the students and the content already seen during previous training. On this basis, during this process all the activities that will be seen throughout the course are described clearly and precisely, In addition to indicating what strategies will be followed to achieve the goals and how progress will be assessed.

    Although these programs are intended to be applied in their original and total form throughout the academic year, they are not closed programs. In other words, that is to say depending on the course of the course, new content may be included. This is because things can happen that change the context and the particular reality, aspects that should not be missed.

    Basic characteristics

    Didactic planning must meet a number of fundamental characteristics in order to be effective, adaptable to the way learning is developed throughout the school year, and useful for both teachers and students.

    The first of these resources is that they must be written, whether on paper or in digital format. The document will define the strategies and objectives to be achieved in a structured way, detailing everything that is needed and making it as clear and concise as possible. These strategies should not ignore the educational setting of the institution they are working with, that is, the standard content that the center wants students to assimilate.

    These goals and strategies cannot be decided individually. The teacher should approach other teachers who have taught the same subject in other courses, to ask them how they approached a particular content or what strategy they used at that time and how it worked. happened to them. They will also be asked if they find it appropriate to teach this content or if they consider that there are other better alternatives.

    Didactic planning must be flexible, Since throughout the course, events may occur that require you to change part of the program or shorten the duration of subjects and prerequisite exams. Likewise, the proposed program must be realistic in terms of objectives and strategies, and that its implementation be conceived as something viable.

    Fundamental parts

    Didactic planning seeks to answer several questions about how students will learn. Among these questions we have:

    • What skills do you want the students to learn?
    • What must be done to get them to acquire it?
    • How should they be planned? What activities to do?
    • How to assess whether the proposed activities have achieved the objectives?

    Based on all this, in any didactic planning there must be the following well specified elements:

    1. Objectives and content

    Goals are the successes that have been planned to achieve the end of the educational process. In other words, what we want that students have learned through teaching and learning experiences, Which were previously planned.

    These objectives should be clearly stated in the written program, written in infinitive, and be as specific and concrete as possible. For example, if we were writing the didactic planning for the biology subject of the second year of secondary school, an example of an objective of the teaching plan would be:

    “To learn the functioning of cells, the organelles which compose them and their functions, to extend this knowledge to the learning of the phases of the mitotic and meiotic processes.”

    Content is the set of concepts, procedures, skills, abilities and attitudes that will be used to achieve the proposed objectives. An example of content related to the above objective would be “Cellular Function and Reproduction”.

      2. Tasks and activities

      Teaching activities are the practical part of the academic year. are those planned actions so that students acquire the knowledge transmitted in class.

      3. Assessment of learning

      Finally, we have the learning assessment. it is fundamental design assessment tools to measure how well students assimilate knowledge that were seen in class. It should describe what will be evaluated, what will be evaluated and when.

      However, the application of the assessment aims not only to determine which students have learned and which have not, but also to measure whether the program developed and implemented so far has really served any purpose. is.

      Steps for developing didactic planning

      Taking into account the elements that any didactic planning must have, we now move on to the essential steps to be able to develop it correctly.

      1. Establish the content to be taught

      This is the first point for which didactic planning must begin. Establish content to be taught conscientiously this is the way to ensure that material capable of informing students will be provided, In addition to preparing them so that they can make their own decisions or be more autonomous in future classes.

      These contents will follow three phases. The first will focus on learning concepts and theories, i.e. conceptually. later, it will be oriented towards learning in the form of know-how. Finally, it will focus on letting the students know how to be.

      To better understand it, we will put the case of the subject of mathematics of the fourth of secondary, where he wants to teach trigonometry:

      The first point to start with will be the conceptual, that is, define what trigonometry is, what are the concepts of sine, cosine and tangent and their mathematical formulas. Once this part has been seen, it will move on to the procedure, having mathematical problems solved in which trigonometric rules must be used.

      Finally, either in the exam or in subsequent mathematics lessons, after having assimilated these trigonometric rules, the students will be able to use them in any type of arithmetic problem in which they will have to calculate, for example, heights according to the degree d tilt of the shadow cast by the object.

      2. Research student needs

      Deciding what content will be taught doesn’t make much sense if the needs of the students are not taken into account. It is possible that these same students have already had problems learning knowledge that we assume they should already have. well assimilated. If the previous one is not known, it is difficult for them to learn the new one correctly.

      It is for this reason that it is very necessary for the teacher to research what he deems appropriate to teach the students, which is really worth learning. Not only do you have to know what they have given and what they did not give in previous years, but also if there is knowledge from previous years that should have been reviewed.

      Students’ aspirations should also be known, what they would like to learn, What are their goals in life if it is very advanced courses, such as high school or higher education.

      For example, if we are English teachers in a place with a lot of tourism and we know that a large part of our students want to devote themselves to this sector, it will be essential to incorporate an English subject with sentences and vocabulary in the syllabus. linked to the world of hotels, bars, shops …

      3. Define the objectives and the final objective of the classes

      The objectives and the ultimate goal of the classes will be set. It is very important to take into account when you think they are going to be met and, as the didactic planning is done, see if it is in sync with them.

      4. Be flexible

      It will not always be possible to comply with the didactic planning, as all kinds of unforeseen events can arise during the course. It is for this reason that it is very important that the methodology is prepared for the modifications, Be ideal for leaving spaces between content and content to be able to include new content in case it is necessary, or to reformulate objectives and goals.

      Changes may need to be made at the request of students. As long as their criticisms are fair and well founded, the teacher must be prepared to be able to incorporate changes in the program, adapted to these requirements and not involving too exaggerated a deviation from the initial objectives.

      To give an example, surely, in the biology subjects of all institutes, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced part of the program to be changed, essentially for two reasons. The first, being a virus of such importance, cannot miss the opportunity to explain it in class, by making pupils aware of the risks it represents for health. The second is linked to the fact that we had to switch from face-to-face to online courses, which implies changing the assessment methodology.

      5. Evaluation

      Students can be assessed in different ways, All according to the material taught or the content that has been seen. During the didactic planning, and provisionally, the evaluation dates will be fixed, whether they are exams or important work, or alternative activities depending on the situation.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Alonso Tejada, ME (2009). “Didactic planning”. Teacher Training Workbooks 3: 1-10.

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