Didactic unit: definition, what it is for and how to elaborate it
We explain what it consists of and how to create a didactic unit.
The teaching and learning process is a complex process that allows us to acquire knowledge and skills that help us adapt to the environment in an effective way.It allows us to acquire knowledge and skills that help us to adapt to our environment in an effective way. In addition, it enriches us as people through a multitude of contents and themes.
To carry it out, a very important concept in education is the didactic unit, which allows structuring and applying knowledge in a methodical way. In this article we will learn what this method consists of, what elements influence its design and what components make it up.
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Didactic unit: what is it?
The didactic unit is a concept of teaching, and consists of a method of planning the teaching and learning process.. This method is designed and applied by teachers at different levels and educational sectors, although it is especially used in early childhood education and at younger ages.
Thus, the didactic units are actually specific topics that are intended to teach students, always adjusted to the student's age and other elements: examples of these are: "vertebrate animals", "pronouns", "the diacritical accent", "colors", "prime numbers", "subtractions", etc.
As we can see, they will be adjusted to a specific subject or academic project (e.g. biology, mathematics, language...). In addition to the subject matter, the didactic unit includes all the methodology, activities, resources to be used, objectives, etc., that are planned around them.
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What is it for?
Thus, the didactic unit develops several functions, although the main one is to organize and structure the topics to be dealt with in a given school year or period of time.. It also allows sequencing the contents to be dealt with during the course, following a logic and taking into account the age and educational level of the students.
Elements to take into account
At the time of designing and programming a didactic unit, the teacher must take into account a series of elements, which will allow to organize the resources and create an effective didactic unit adapted to the group of students. and adapted to the group of students, such as the following.
1. Age of the students
The age of the students will guide the design of the didactic unit.The age of the students will guide the design of the didactic unit, since the knowledge that it intends to provide must be adjusted to the age of the student so that it can be acquired normally and efficiently.
Level of development
The developmental level of the student, closely related to the previous parameter, should also be taken into account.. This refers to the capacities and previous knowledge that the student has at the time of starting his or her learning.
3. Family environment
The family environment of the student should be taken into account especially in the application of the didactic unit, in the sense that the teacher should be aware that each student has a different situation.In the sense that the teacher should be aware that each student has a specific family and home situation, which can alter the learning process.
4. Available resources
The available resources are another element that will influence the design and planning of the didactic units, since the teacher must be aware that each student has a specific home and family of the didactic units, since the teacher will have to adapt his/her proposal to the resources available in the school center.
5. Curricular project
Finally, the curricular project refers to the educational strategies that the teacher establishes in order to develop his/her educational practice.. This is based on an exhaustive analysis of the student's context, the characteristics of the center, etc.
Thus, it is an element closely related to the didactic unit, which must be adjusted and follow the premises of the curricular project of each center and/or teacher.
Every didactic unit is made up of a series of elements or sections that are always the same, although, logically, they vary in content. These are the following:
The first part or component of a didactic unit is the description.The first part or component of a didactic unit is the description, which consists of a sort of summary or global record of the unit, where the most relevant data of the unit appear.
It proposes the subject to be dealt with, as well as the name or title of the unit. In addition, it includes the previous knowledge that the student must present in order to receive the didactic unit, as well as the initial activities programmed to teach it.
The description also includes other elements, such as: the target audience, the total number of sessions or classes required for the unit and their duration, the start date of the unit, the proposed end date and the resources to be used.
The second component or section of the didactic unit is the following the objectives or didactic objectives. These include the knowledge and skills that students are expected to learn through the unit. Generally each learning unit is made up of about 8 objectives, although the ideal range is between 6 and 10.
Objectives can be specific (concrete) or general.
The contents include the knowledge that is intended to be taught.. These are not "isolated" contents, but are logically related to the didactic unit in question, to the previous knowledge necessary to understand the unit, to the student's abilities and to the methodology to be used, among others.
The contents arise from the previous section, that is, from the didactic objectives. For a correct acquisition and learning of the contents, it will be necessary to specify which procedures or tools will be used to treat or expose such contents.
4. Sequence of activities
The following section of every didactic unit includes those activities (their order of application, duration, subject matter...) that will be carried out, as well as the sequence of activities (their order of application, duration, subject matter...). that will be carried out, as well as the relationship between them. Thus, as in every section, everything must be clearly specified: the duration of each activity, the order of application of the activities, the number of students, the necessary resources, etc.
In this section it will be necessary to take into account if there is any curricular adaptation of any student (or students) in question. Curricular adaptations consist of a type of educational strategy that is applied to students with learning difficulties or special educational needs; it is about adapting the objectives and/or contents to be taught in order to make them accessible to the student.
In this section of the didactic unit is intended to determine how the unit in question is to be taught to the students, and includes the procedures, methods, strategies and educational tools to be used..
The methodology also includes the organization of the time and space of each didactic unit, as well as of each of its parts, sessions or activities.
6. Materials and resources
This section includes these two components: the materials and resources that will be needed and that are intended to be used to develop the different didactic units.. They should be detailed and specific.
The purpose of these components is to enhance that the activities can be programmed and executed following regular application guidelines, and are intended to prevent possible mishaps.
7. Evaluation of the didactic unit
The last section or component of the didactic unit is its evaluation.. Here a series of criteria and indicators of evaluation and assessment of each activity and unit will be indicated.
The objective of the evaluation is to determine whether the knowledge intended to be taught has been acquired and consolidated, and has much to do with the didactic objectives; that is, it determines whether or not they have been achieved. Assessment includes a number of strategies, such as tests, quizzes, questions, discussions, projects, etc.
Area, M. (1993). Didactic units and classroom research. A model for collaborative work among teachers. Cuadernos didácticos, 3-92.
Pineda, J.D. (2014) Didactic unit for the teaching of additive structures in the third and fifth grades of elementary school. Master's thesis, Universidad Nacional de Colombia - Sede Manizales.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)