Analysis of content and underlying theories in Spanish reference texts on General Didactics

Análisis de contenido y teorías subyacentes en los textos españoles de referencia sobre Didáctica General

Cristina Moral Santaella and Agustín de la Herrán Gascón


The results of the 2019 Pisa Reports confirm that the Spanish education system continues to stagnate after compulsory ed­ucation has been completed. This situation calls for self-criticism on the part of all ac­tors involved. One of the groups concerned are the university professors and lectur­ers who provide training for prospective teachers. Among them are those who teach General Didactics. They provide basic and multi-purpose training on teaching meth­ods for prospective teachers. For this pur­pose, they usually consider traditional and recent textbooks and other reference texts on teaching theory and practice, which help to define the discipline. The aim of the study is to find out whether these works train and equip prospective teachers with teaching competences and to verify their educational and professional potential with regard to the teaching theory they convey. In order to fulfil this aim, a descriptive documentary study of 35 reference works on General Didactics was carried out, in­cluding both textbooks and texts used as sources of didactic knowledge. The content of the structure and composition of these texts was analysed. The results show a tendency to prioritise theoretical aspects over competences and to order chapters based on a technical and administrative tradition, rather than a conceptual and semantic approach focused on designing a meaningful learning experience. As an ap­plied summary, recommendations are pro­vided for the development of textbooks on General Didactics, aimed at initial teacher training, from a more competence-based and less academic approach.



Please, cite this article as follows: Moral Santaella, C., & De la Herrán Gascón, A. (2021). Análisis de contenido y teorías subyacentes en los textos españoles de referencia sobre Didáctica General | Analysis of content and underlying theories in Spanish reference texts on General Didactics. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 79 (280), 437-455.

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Cristina Moral Santaella works as Associate Professor at the Universidad de Granada. She trains early years, primary and secondary school teachers, and con­ducts research into different areas of study for educational improvement and change. She is a member of the FORCE Research Group and of the RILME Network, among others. Her research interests are teacher training didactics and curriculum, educa­tional leadership, qualitative research.

Agustín de la Herrán Gascón works as Associate Professor in the Department of Pedagogy of the Universidad Autóno­ma de Madrid. His research interests are teacher training, pedagogy of creativity, history of educational innovation, com­plexity and awareness in education or rad­ical and inclusive approach to education, among others. He is a member of the re­search group PR-005 “Social and labour inclusion for people with intellectual dis­abilities”.