For many years, teaching plans and practice were based on the psychological and/or linguistic knowledge (that is, the knowledge directed at the use of language and the construction of linguistic knowledge in non-didactic situations). This type of knowledge is still important, but not enough, as none of it can explain the interaction that occurs between the three points of the didactic triangle: object of study, teacher, and student.
This is because in the last 15 years, research has focused on studying teaching and learning of reading and writing in school, so it had to analyze the contents of the teaching plans and reformulate the didactic approach.
After reading Delia Lerner’s “Reading and writing. A modern perspective”, we can draw the following conclusions:
People who elaborate the Curriculums have to decide which contents should be studied. This implies a reconstruction of the subject. This is the first level of didactic transposition (the presentation of scientific knowledge about the object or activity to be taught).
The selection of the information is essential, because it is impossible to teach the students everything. This selection must also order the information according to its importance, without neglecting the context in which the information must be inserted, at the same time avoiding an excessive isolation of the subject of study from its social function.
The sciences in which this knowledge is comprised are not enough to build the learning process. Didactic goals also play an important role and, together with the sciences, they are the source that school practices are inspired from.
For example: the main “educational goal of teaching learning and writing (…) is to make children become part of the community of readers and ‘writers’; it is to make the students citizens of the written culture…” According to this goal, the object of study in composed of the social reading and writing practices.
Once the information to be taught has been decided, it is necessary to establish the practices – in order to explain the contents and try to define the didactic conditions necessary to make them meaningful.
The social practices of reading and writing have existed for a long time and they are not independent from linguistic studies. The study of the language sciences might not be paramount, but it has contributed in a decisive manner to the conceptualization of the school practices.