Pedagogy is the science and art of education, specifically instructional theory. An instructor develops conceptual knowledge and manages the content of learning activities in pedagogical settings.

Modern pedagogy has been strongly influenced by the cognitivism of Piaget, 1926, 1936/1975; the social-interactionist theories of Bruner, 1960, 1966, 1971, 1986; and the social and cultural theories of Vygotsky, 1962.

These theorists have laid a foundation for pedagogy where sequential development of individual mental processes—such as recognizing, recalling, analyzing, reflecting, applying, creating, understanding, and evaluating—are scaffolded.

Students learn as they internalize the procedures, organization, and structures encountered in social contexts as their own schemata. The learner requires assistance to integrate prior knowledge with new knowledge.

Children must also develop metacognition, or the ability to learn how to learn.


Etymology and generalizations:

The word comes from the Greek παιδαγωγέω (paidagōgeō); in which παῖς (país, genitive παιδός, paidos) means “child” and άγω (ágō) means “lead”; literally translated “to lead the child”. Other relevant roots from Greek include μικρό παιδί or toddler; αγόρι or boy child; κοριτσιών or girl child; μικρό παιδί or young child, indicating that παιδί is used with very young children of both sexes.

Academic degrees

An academic degree, Ped. D., Doctor of Pedagogy, is awarded honorarily by some U.S. universities to distinguished teachers (in the U.S. and U.K., earned degrees within the instructive field are classified as an Ed. D., Doctor of Education or a Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy). The term is also used to denote an emphasis in education as a specialty in a field (for instance, a Doctor of Music degree in piano pedagogy).
Contributors to Instructional theory.

A number of people have contributed to the theories of pedagogy, including:

• Rabindranath Tagore
• Paul Lewis
• Johann Friedrich Herbart
• Joseph Priestley
• Josef Albers
• John Asimakopoulos
• Caleb Gattegno
• Benjamin Bloom
• John Dewey
• Adolphe Ferrière
• Célestin Freinet
• Paulo Freire
• Friedrich Fröbel
• Eugenio María de Hostos
• Kurt Hahn
• John Hejduk
• Gloria Jean Watkins (bell hooks)
• John Amos Comenius
• Shinichi Suzuki (violinist)
• Janusz Korczak
• William G Perry
• Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi
• Jean Piaget
• Miriam Roth
• Simon Soloveychik
• Rudolf Steiner
• Lev Vygotsky
• Henry Giroux
• Peter McLaren
• Maria Montessori
• Pierre Bourdieu
• Joseph Jacotot
• Tsunesaburō Makiguchi
• John Taylor Gatto


In Denmark, a pedagogue is a practitioner of pedagogy. The term is primarily used for individuals who occupy jobs in pre-school education (such as kindergartens and nurseries) in Scandinavia. But a pedagogue can occupy various kinds of jobs, e.g. in retirement homes, prisons, orphanages, and human resource management. These are often recognized as social pedagogues as they perform on behalf of society.

The pedagogue’s job is usually distinguished from a teacher’s by primarily focusing on teaching children life-preparing knowledge such as social skills and cultural norms, etc. There is also a very big focus on care and well-being of the child. Many pedagogical institutions also practice social inclusion. The pedagogue’s work also consists of supporting the child in his or her mental and social development.

In Denmark all pedagogues are trained at a series of national institutes for social educators located in all major cities. The programme is a 3.5-year academic course, giving the student the title of a Bachelor in Social Education (Danish: Professionsbachelor som pædagog)

It is also possible to earn a master’s degree in pedagogy/educational science from the University of Copenhagen. This BA and MA program has a more theoretical focus compared to the above mentioned Bachelor in Social Education.
In Hungary, the word pedagogue (pedagógus) is synonymous with teacher (tanár); therefore, teachers of both primary and secondary schools may be referred to as pedagogues, a word that appears also in the name of their lobbyist organizations and labor unions (e.g. Labor Union of Pedagogues, Democratic Labor Union of Pedagogues.

However, undergraduate education in Pedagogy does not qualify students to become teachers in primary or secondary schools but makes them able to apply to be educational assistants. As of 2013, the 5-year training period was re-installed in place of the undergraduate and postgraduate division which characterized the previous practice.

See also
• Adult
• Andragogy
• Child
• Concept learning
• Contemporary Educational Psychology — a Wikibook about educational psychology
• Creative Pedagogy
• Critical pedagogy
• Education theory
• Education
• Educational philosophy
• Educational psychology
• Educology
• Heutagogy
• Horace Mann
• Instructional design
• Learning theory (education)
• Piano pedagogy
• Poisonous pedagogy
• Problem-based learning
• Teacher
• Team-based learning
• List of important publications in pedagogy


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