Back to School? Time For Some Pedagogy.
But What is It?
Online lookups for pedagogy usually see an uptick in September, and it's no surprise interest in the word increases with back-to-school season. So, what exactly is pedagogy?
Pedagogy is a word that refers to the art, science, or profession of teaching, and especially to the field of study that deals mainly with methods of teaching and learning in schools. A teacher who communicates well and interests the class in the subject matter is engaging in pedagogy, as is the grad student who is studying about classroom behavior. The students are pupils of pedagogues.
If pedagogue sounds slightly sinister, it might be because of demagogue. Both pedagogue and demagogue can trace their roots back to the Greek verb agogos, "leader," but the first element of each word leads them in different directions. Pedagogue comes from the Greek roots paid-, meaning "child," and agogos, "leader," because a paidagōgos in Greek was one who led children to school. Demagogue, on the other hand, refers to a leader of the people (demos in Greek). Demagogue in English came to be used of a leader who manipulates to gain power, while pedagogue came to refer to a teacher.
Wishing everyone a successful school year, with thanks to all the pedagogues out there. We wouldn’t be here without you.