Scientific themes

The Anthropological Theory of the Didactic (ATD) currently plays a prominent role in internationalresearch in didactics.Five international conferences have been organised on this subject so far: Baeza (Spain) in 2005, Uzès (France) in 2007, Sant Hilari Sacalm (Spain) in 2010, Toulouse (France) in 2013 and Castro Urdiales (Spain) in 2016. Like the preceding ones, this conference brings together researchers interested in the ATD and aims at the following objectives:

  • Establishing an updated overview of the results and progress in the ATD, concerning both basic research and the development of education and teacher training systems;
  • Developing a research programme around the most relevant open problems, either related to difficulties affecting education systems or the development of didactics as a scientific discipline;
  • Identifying and studying the specific problems raised by the extension of the ATD’s conceptual and methodological tools to other fields.

Special remark on the scope and the official language of the conference.

The ATD research programme has been initially developed in the French and Spanish research communities in didactics of mathematics. However, it has now developed internationally and addresses broader didactic phenomena, both as regards the bodies of knowledge considered (such as the life sciences, for example) and the type of institutions through which knowledge disseminates (e.g. museums or communication media of various types). Therefore, we particularly invite researchers in didactics of any field to take part in the conference. Given that researchers in didactics are increasingly fluent English, we call on all participants to write and deliver their communications in this language. Nevertheless, as in previous conferences, oral or poster communications in French or Spanish will be welcomed. Organisers will do their best to make this trilingual organisation an enriching and profitable experience for all participants.

Scientific themes

Axis 1

Analysing and Assessing Uses of the ATD in didactics research and teaching

The increasing dissemination of the anthropological theory of the didactic raises a major problem in many intertwined questions. One of these questions is the degree of penetration of the ATD into a variety of fields of didactic research, well beyond mathematics (from which it originates), from literature to science through art or information technology. A companion question is, how do researchers use the ATD, and, most importantly, which parts of the ATD do they effectively use? Is the full import of the theory recognised and drawn upon? Are there any misunderstandings about what the ATD can achieve and what it is allegedly not yet prepared to accomplish? And what then should we do about them? This topic therefore calls for an open and dynamic assessment of the research done in several areas of the “didactic continent” under the auspices of the ATD.

 Axis 2

The Paradigm of Questioning the World and the Curricular Issue

This topic concerns the study of the historical transition from the classical paradigm (based on the sequential access to previously established knowledge) to an emerging didactic paradigm in which one ideally starts from a question and tries to work out an answer to that question, without any prejudice regarding the kinds of tools needed to elaborate the answer sought after. In this paradigm of questioning the world, in which the notion of inquiry (of a given question) and of study and research paths (SRP) play a key role, the works of culture do not vanish: they are simply assigned a more authentically functional role, which requires studying a given work—in synergy with other works—with the aim of providing an appropriate answer to a question or set of questions, which correlatively become part and parcel of a “new” curriculum based on the study of questions. Presentations relating to the modelling and critical study, from an ATD viewpoint, of the notion of inquiry-based teaching will be welcomed. Papers tackling the issues raised by the design of purportedly “inquiry-based curricula” will be particularly encouraged.

Axis 3 

ATD and the professionalization of the teaching profession

Newcomers to the ATD as a praxeological complex should be reminded that many of its key constituents were forged in the frame of teacher education in an effort to change the “craft of teaching” into a full-fledged profession. The core of this topic is the study of the teaching “semiprofessions” in school, university or vocational school. It is based on two main concepts, firstly that of profession (as distinguished from the notion of “semiprofession”), and secondly, the concept of problems of a profession, which refers to the difficulties one has to deal with when carrying out this profession. The main idea here is that, however “subjective” it may seem to others, any observed “difficulty” must be taken seriously and looked at as a problem to be solved in the framework of the ATD. Papers showing how this can be done will be welcomed, whether they tackle “big issues” or are devoted to the supposed minutiae of teaching practice.

The scientific committee

The scientific committee is composed of Hamid Chaachoua (Université de Grenoble Alpes), chair, Marianne Achiam (University of Copenhagen), Michèle Artaud (Aix-Marseille Université), Berta Barquero (Universidad de Barcelona), Annie Bessot (Université de Grenoble Apes), Catherine Bonnat (Université de Grenoble Alpes), Marianna Bosch (Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona), Jean-Pierre Bourgade (Aix-Marseille Université), Alain Bronner (Université de Montpellier), Corine Castela (Université de Rouen), Yves Chevallard (Aix-Marseille Université), Gisèle Cirade (Université de Toulouse Jean Jaurès), Marina De Simone (Université de Grenoble Alpes), Francisco Javier García (Universidad de Jaén), Josep Gascón (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), Isabelle Girault (Université de Grenoble Alpes), Thomas Hausberger (Université de Montpellier), Sébastien Jolivet (Université de Grenoble Alpes), Caroline Ladage (Aix-Marseille Université), Patricia Marzin (Université de Grenoble Alpes), Pedro Nicolás (Universidad de Murcia), María Rita Otero (Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas), André Pressiat (Université d’Orléans), Maggy Schneider (Université de Liège), Tomás Ángel Sierra (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Carl Winsløw (University of Copenhagen), Floriane Wozniak (Université de Montpellier)..

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