In educational planning, teachers have to order knowledge with a certain coherence, otherwise the different topics would be presented without any connection. In this sense, a thematic axis acts as a basic script that brings a certain unity to different themes but with some connections.
A thematic axis is a set of content and related disciplines. In this way, each of the study areas is related to the others because they all share the same plane or axis. This way of ordering and understanding knowledge is especially useful because it allows connecting different subjects.
From the point of view of educational planning, the idea of thematic axis serves to organize a study program in different modules and to evaluate the academic achievements of students. In educational terminology, the idea of thematic axis constitutes a fundamental aspect for methodological and didactic issues in the teaching and learning process.
In short, it is about knowing what to teach and how the different areas of knowledge should be organized.
Two illustrative examples
A student has to acquire knowledge in the area of mathematics and these are presented in a thematic axis formed by the following disciplines: geometry, statistics, algebra and calculus.
In statistics the student has to become familiar with specific contents, such as the interpretation of diagrams, analysis of variables and fundamentals of probability.
In geometry, the student is expected to have knowledge of the calculation of areas and perimeters in different geometric figures and to know the Cartesian plane.
In the areas of algebra and calculus there are contents on natural sets, sequences, limits, etc.
In the study of the geography of a country, the following thematic axis could be used: definition and examples of physical map and political map, natural components, economic components, infrastructures and aspects related to the population.
The concept of thematic axis is valid for educational projects in museums
In most museums there is an educational approach through which knowledge about a set of subjects is transmitted.
Visitors to a natural science museum could observe some didactic contents ordered by the following thematic axis: classification of living beings, the cell as a fundamental unit of life and the different forms of reproduction. This example of thematic axis allows the visitor to follow a pattern when assimilating some knowledge.
Photo: Fotolia - rwgusev