ped·​a·​gog·​i·​cal | \ ˌpe-də-ˈgä-ji-kəl How to pronounce pedagogical (audio) , -ˈgō- How to pronounce pedagogical (audio) \
variants: or less commonly pedagogic \ ˌpe-​də-​ˈgä-​jik How to pronounce pedagogical (audio) , -​ˈgō-​ \

Definition of pedagogical

: of, relating to, or befitting a teacher or education pedagogical methods pedagogical concerns

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Other Words from pedagogical

pedagogically \ ˌpe-​də-​ˈgä-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce pedagogical (audio) , -​ˈgō-​ \ adverb

Pedagogical, Pedagogy, and Pedagogue

Pedagogical and its cognates present us with an excellent example of how different words can come from the same root, retain an almost identical meaning, and yet take on distinctive connotations. Pedagogical, pedagogy, and pedagogue all come from the Greek paidagōgos, originally the word for a slave who brought children to school. But while pedagogical and pedagogy have meanings simply related to teaching or teachers (with no implied judgment), pedagogue has taken on a negative tone, often referring to a dull or overly formal teacher. A similar transformation has taken place with many of the pedant- words in English. A pedant originally denoted simply "a tutor," but now tends to mean "one who makes a show of knowledge." Pedantic formerly meant "relating to teaching," but now is more commonly used to mean "unimaginative or dull."

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Pedagogical, which has the somewhat less common spelling variant pedagogic, was coined in the early 17th century from a Greek adjective of the same meaning. That adjective, paidagōgikos, in turn derives from the noun paidagōgos, meaning "teacher." The English word pedagogue (which can simply mean "teacher" but usually suggests one who is particularly dull) derives from the same root. Though the words "educational" and "teacher" make the grade in most contexts, pedagogical and pedagogue are useful additions to the class.

Examples of pedagogical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Little Etudes for piano, with pedagogical descriptions by cardiologist Pier Lambiase, provided a layperson’s introduction to electrical aberrations of the heart. Grace Leslie, Scientific American, 18 Sep. 2021 Its preliminary recommendations cover categories including admissions and enrollment, developmental education, equitable pedagogical practices, and support for students’ basic needs, such as food and housing., 24 Aug. 2021 So many of my most important pedagogical conversations happen in my office or outside of the classroom over coffee. Katie Roiphe, The Atlantic, 6 Aug. 2021 His pedagogical method focused on bottom-up reliance on the initiative and will of students to spark their own enthusiasm and was similar to the grass-roots approach of his earlier voter-registration work. Washington Post, 25 July 2021 Detailed medical lyrics about reproduction are set to the melody of a famously simplistic pedagogical musical number. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, 16 July 2021 This has improved my teaching by providing me with new content knowledge, pedagogical strategies and new curriculum to implement in my classes. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 July 2021 Imagine, though, if Saya had pedagogical skills to supply curriculum enablements. Cindy Gordon, Forbes, 27 June 2021 This pedagogical soul-searching has gone on during a year in which direct public access to the video of George Floyd’s killing, by Derek Chauvin, galvanized worldwide protests on racial injustice and provided the basis for a murder conviction. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, 8 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pedagogical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pedagogical

1595, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of pedagogical was in 1595

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Last Updated

26 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pedagogical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for pedagogical



English Language Learners Definition of pedagogical

: of or relating to teachers or education


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