The Lost Concept: Deep Learning and Didactic Pedagogy

Deep Learning can be seen from different perspectives as opposite to Surface Learning where learning happens through data memorization and transfer rather than through thinking, reflections, collaboration and making connections. Deep Learning activities are thought-provoking, stimulate the learner’s schemata, are based on problem-solving and are related to previously acquired knowledge of the learner himself and from his interaction with others. I see Deep Learning from a cognitive perspective and I call it a cognitive educational concept (CEC). Looking back at a multitude of learning paradigms in mainstream education, I want to highlight the term Didactic Pedagogy which entails learning by replication of knowledge and memorization rather than helping students develop thinking and engage in knowledge making and collaborative intelligence. Kalantzis and Cope (2017) define Didactic Pedagogy as follows:

There is an emphasis on a narrow range of epistemic processes by means of which learners can demonstrate that they ca replicate disciplinary knowledge – which in this pedagogical mode is limited to remembering facts, appropriately applying definitions, correctly deducing answers by the application of received theorems and faithfully applying the “ processes of the discipline.” This is pedagogy of mimesis or knowledge replication.” (p.9)

Cope, B. and Kalantzis, M. (2017) e-Learning Ecologies: Principles for New Learning and Assessment (Ed.). New York. Routledge.