Vol 6 Nr 2016:2 (2016): Nordidactica 2016:2
We would like to believe that in the Nordic countries and the German-speaking world subject didactics (ämnesdidaktik, fagdidaktik, Sachdidaktik) appears intelligible as a conceptual category and legitimate as a field of scientific enquiry to many, or most, of our colleagues in the faculties of education and the faculties of humanities and social sciences. As to where the specialists of subject didactics are located, there are also in the Nordic countries various organisational and institutional solutions. In some cases subject didactics specialists are mostly found in the faculties of pedagogy or teacher education, in some other they are likely to be in the faculties of humanities and social sciences, depending on their disciplinary background.
These different solutions have both advantages and disadvantages. In the first, there are probably better opportunities to integrative collaboration between specialists of subject didactics of different subjects, and also educational sciences may provide a congenial environment for theoretical, conceptual and empirical work within subject didactics. However in that institutional framework it is also possible that educational sciences, including educational psychology, set the premises to relevant research on teaching and education in such ways that it relegates subject didactics to the margins of educational research and calls it into question as a useful conceptual category. In cases where subject didactics is located in the faculties of ’substance disciplines’, it may be easier for a subject didactics specialist to speak the same language and share interests regarding research topics with colleagues. On the other hand, distance from the world of education and teaching is likely to grow and the opportunities to cross boundaries between different subjects’ didactics may be few.