Pedagogy (pronounced /ˈpedəɡɒdʒi, ˈpedəɡɑːdʒi, or ˈpedəɡoʊdʒi) is the study of being a teacher. The term generally refers to strategies of instruction, or a style of instruction.
Pedagogy is also sometimes referred to as the correct use of teaching strategies (see instructional theory). For example, Paulo Freire referred to his method of teaching adults as “critical pedagogy”. In correlation with those teaching strategies the instructor’s own philosophical beliefs of teaching are harbored and governed by the pupil’s background knowledge and experiences, personal situations, and environment, as well as learning goals set by the student and teacher. One example would be the Socratic schools of thought.
The word comes from the Greek παιδαγωγέω (paidagōgeō; from παίδ paíd: child and άγω ágō: lead; literally, “to lead the child”). In Ancient Greece, παιδαγωγός was (usually) a slave who supervised the education of his master’s son (girls were not publicly educated). This involved taking him to school (διδασκαλείον) or a gym (γυμνάσιον), looking after him and carrying his equipment (e.g. musical instruments). The Latin-derived word for pedagogy, means good learning styles education, is in modern times used in the English-speaking world to refer to the whole context of instruction, learning, and the actual operations involved therein, although both words have roughly the same original meaning. In the English-speaking world the term pedagogy refers to the science or theory of educating; trainee teachers learn their subject and also the pedagogy appropriate for teaching that subject. The introduction of information technology into schools has necessitated changes in pedagogy; teachers are adopting new methods of teaching facilitated by the new technology. The late Malcolm Knowles reasoned that the term andragogy is more pertinent when discussing adult learning and teaching. He referred to andragogy as the art and science of teaching adults.
An academic degree, Ped. D., Doctor of Pedagogy, is awarded honorarily by some American universities to distinguished educators (in the US and UK earned degrees within the education 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).