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The significance of the concepts 'elemental' and 'fundamental' in didactic theory and practice

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The 'elemental' refers to the essentials of the contents that make them accessible to a child. The effects on a child of contents that are mastered are the 'fundamental'. In a fruitful didactic unlocking (presentation) it is possible for a child to achieve considerably more insight than merely an understanding of the learning content. The child (learner) gains insight into reality itself, and even into means of dealing with it. There is a path from the elemental to the fundamental that should always be kept in mind, and kept open by a teacher. The elemental has an unlocking function and facilitates presenting the contents to a child, but it is valid didactically only if it is transformed into a fundamental learning experience by a child/learner. The elemental-fundamental approach, if used appropriately, leads to effective teaching that culminates in genuine learning. This, in didactic terminology, is referred to as 'categorical forming'. Contents that have been mastered become part of a child's intellectual possession by means of which the becoming person can gradually cope with present and future life-world situations and the life challenges they encounter.
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Keywords: Bildung (education); categorical forming; didactic theory and practice; elementals and fundamentals; history of education

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-06-01

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