Didactic Principles – The Bridge Between Instructional Research and Teachers’ Pedagogical Practice Milena Valenčič Zuljan and Romina Plešec Gasparič
Summary: Didactic principles were at the heart of prof. dr. France Strmčnik’s research and academic work - he was dedicated to them throughout his academic career and wrote numerous papers on them. In this article, we highlight didactic principles that have emerged from the generalization of practical experience. We present Strmčnik’s classification of didactic principles, which is the most established one in Slovenia, and confront it with the findings of empirical research which researchers of learning and teaching employ to try to discover characteristics of high-quality instruction and to find ways to put the scientific findings into practice. The analysis shows that the results of contemporary research confirm the »classical« didactic principles. Didactic principles, based on research findings that inform teachers› conceptions, are an important guide for teachers› planning, implementation, and evaluation of instruction. In addition, they play an important role in instructional innovation and teacher professional development. The authors assume that didactic principles could be a bridge between »theory and practice«, that is, between research and teachers› pedagogical work. Therefore, in the conclusions we describe the role and importance of didactic principles in the process of teacher education.