ped·​a·​go·​gy ˈpe-də-ˌgō-jē How to pronounce pedagogy (audio)
 also  -ˌgä-,
especially British
-ˌgä-gē How to pronounce pedagogy (audio)
: the art, science, or profession of teaching
especially : education sense 2

Did you know?

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 closely related meanings, and yet take on distinctive connotations. Pedagogical, pedagogy, and pedagogue all come from the Greek paidagōgos, originally the word for an enslaved person who brought children to school. But while pedagogical and pedagogy have meanings simply related to education, 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. 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."

Examples of pedagogy in a Sentence

Some of the presentations, a few too many for comfort, lapsed into the familiar contortions of modern pedagogy. Alex Ross, New Yorker, 14 & 21 July 2003
The idea that pedagogy should be judged according to race is absurd on its face, but the fact that they saw their relationship with me and with the school itself in those terms should have given me greater pause than it did. Gerald Early, Lure and Loathing, 1993
Since no textbooks existed, the professor refused to profess, knowing no more than his students, and the students read what they pleased and compared their results. As pedagogy, nothing could be more triumphant. Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, 1907
Recent Examples on the Web Fourth, his pedagogy, which seems in retrospect to be central, rather than tangential, to his achievement. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 17 Nov. 2023 Gracie articulates his pedagogy with movement and action. Kevin Maurer, Rolling Stone, 12 Nov. 2023 Advertisement His pedagogy and artistic leadership influenced generations, including actors Meryl Streep, Christopher Walken and Cherry Jones, playwright Christopher Durang, theater critics Michael Feingold and Helen Shaw and Broadway producer Rocco Landesman. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2023 This method also avoids a pitfall in conducting pedagogy: creating clones. Joshua Barone, New York Times, 8 Sep. 2023 Lars Vogt lives on much more than in his recordings or his pedagogy. Max Norman, The New Yorker, 5 Sep. 2023 Teacher preparation programs should not only show future educators how to teach math to young students, the programs should also spend a substantial amount of time ensuring educators understand math pedagogy and have a firm understanding of math concepts themselves, Dr. Peske says. Ariel Gilreath, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 Sep. 2023 Children have more outdoor experiences and an autonomous form of pedagogy. A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez, Parents, 2 Oct. 2023 The educators sat through lectures on pedagogy, the finer points of math and how to apply it to actual biological problems. Daniel Mollenkamp, USA TODAY, 6 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pedagogy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


earlier, "instruction, training," borrowed from New Latin paedagōgia, borrowed from Greek paidagōgía "escorting of a child to school, attendance, guidance, schooling, education, training," from paidagōgós "attendant on a child, tutor" + -ia -y entry 2 — more at pedagogue

First Known Use

circa 1623, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pedagogy was circa 1623

Dictionary Entries Near pedagogy

Cite this Entry

“Pedagogy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ped·​a·​go·​gy ˈped-ə-ˌgōj-ē How to pronounce pedagogy (audio)
-ˌgäj-ˌē How to pronounce pedagogy (audio)
: the art, science, or profession of teaching : education
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!