What is Pedagogy? A Complete Guide

18 March 2024
What is Pedagogy

Students respond differently to teaching and learning content; some succeed in grasping concepts faster than others. If the teaching methodology that teachers adopt is linear, it leads to monotony and ineffective learning.

In contrast, focusing on innovative pedagogy models enables teachers to understand individual student understanding levels. Furthermore, the teaching process becomes a guiding light for students, wherein they acquire essential skills and knowledge.

What is pedagogy?

Pedagogy comes from the Greek words ‘’paidos’’(child) and ‘’agogos’’(leader) and relates to the concept of organizing the educational process. The goal is to cater to students' learning needs and incorporate unique methods.

A key aspect of the procedure includes breaking the subject into small units or topics, which helps to simplify them. Apart from improving students’s learning habits, teachers strive to evaluate their progress through assessments.

Modern educational pedagogies address different learning styles, according to which many students function, such as:

  • Tactile Learning: Tactile, or kinesthetic, learning is a method in which students learn by touching and doing. They obtain the maximum information and knowledge through a hands-on approach; for instance, they prefer to do an exercise, draw, build, etc.
  • Auditory Learning: Some individuals excel at active listening and learn optimally through verbal instructions and interactions. Therefore, they might find lectures and in-depth explanations as helpful as audio recordings.
  • Visual Learning: Visually inclined individuals can observe information and identify the connection between concepts and ideas.
  • Reading and Writing Learners: Many students learn best and respond well to the conventional instructional approach. For example, they write down the information after reading the text material or concepts.

Best Pedagogical Approaches

If someone asks, What is pedagogy? He or she would discover that an ideal pedagogy centers around creating a stimulating learning environment. Furthermore, methodologies that encourage inquiry, interest, and higher-order thinking must be central to teaching practices. Therefore, it is only fitting to take a look at the best pedagogical approaches:

What is Pedagogy

1. Constructivist Approach

The constructivism approach goes beyond the traditional teaching and learning system, wherein teachers create a student-centric environment. Active learning is central to this method, and students assess a problem from different perspectives.

The basic characteristics of constructivist learning are as follows:

  • Students take an active role by participating in varied activities.
  • The teachers will play the role of facilitators.
  • The sharing of knowledge and experiences will be a crucial part of the process.
  • Learning groups will consist of individuals with varying levels of aptitude and knowledge.

One of the initial steps of the approach is to assess the student’s pre-existing knowledge and expand it through research and exploration. Through interactive and experiential learning activities, they succeed in expanding their horizons.

Teachers may use scaffolding as an appropriate technique to manage the assessment level according to the student’s performance. Some of the useful methods under this approach include case-based teaching, project-based learning, etc.

2. Collaborative Approach

The goal of education goes beyond preparing students for career prospects and ensuring their overall development. Hence, socio-emotional learning is a significant aspect that teachers emphasize through collaborative learning.

Besides, the education system must strive to embed the seeds of tolerance, kindness, and compassion in students. The best way to do so is by incorporating collaborative learning activities such as:

  • Small group presentations: Teachers can divide the classroom into groups of four, and each group member can contribute to the presentation.
  • Debates: Students can engage in debates, wherein one team can share their views on a topic while another can contest it.
  • Think-pair-share: The teacher provides a topic or question, while students pair up with each other to discuss the solution. After a stipulated time, each pair shares their conclusion with the whole class.

3. Integrative Learning

We live in an ever-evolving world conducive to new discoveries and theories that help to further our understanding of human beings. On the other hand, organizational and workplace scenarios encounter new challenges.

Therefore, competent and knowledgeable individuals with the ability to adapt to different situations get top priority. That is where integrative learning comes into use; it is a unique method that teaches students to make connections between concepts.

Consequently, they can analyze the crux of the problem, figure out suitable solutions, and apply them accordingly. They develop intellectual flexibility and succeed in addressing complex issues by using a combination of concepts and ideas.

Additionally, teachers can use a learning management system to conduct some of the integrative learning activities. For example, using gamified content or multidisciplinary curriculum integration.

4. Reflective Approach

What have I learned today? What was the most difficult part of the lesson? Which topics am I most likely to remember the longest? Is there any practical application of what I learned this week?

These kinds of questions are thought-provoking and encourage deeper understanding and thinking. Therefore, the teacher encourages students to ask such questions through a reflective approach.

Why? Because it is the most effective mechanism to self-evaluate, students can assess their learning so far. Also, they can determine the areas that need further clarity and the ones they were able to understand easily.

Similarly, in the context of teaching practices, teachers carry out evaluations of the methodologies that they implement in the class. Quantitative and qualitative data from students, including their feedback, class recordings, etc., are valuable sources.

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5. Inquiry-Based Learning Approach

"Curiosity killed the cat" is a popular proverb that signifies the fatal outcome of experimentation or investigation. However, that is hardly the case in the inquiry-based learning approach, wherein teachers encourage students to ask questions.

Curiosity is a virtue, especially because it invites self-exploration, cross-examination, and fact-checking. Instead of accepting everything at face value, students dig a little deeper to uncover the truth.

Nevertheless, the objective of this approach is not to enable students to ask questions aimlessly and without any clue. Rather, the idea is to encourage them to understand something and then raise questions.

Teachers need to differentiate between four types of inquiry-based learning and implement them according to their needs:

  • Structured Inquiry Approach : As the name suggests, it is a systematic approach that teaches students how to ask questions. Teachers provide a problem and teach them the process of finding a solution.
  • Open-Ended Inquiry Approach : Students have the liberty to ask questions based on their topics of interest. Moreover, in-depth discussions and debates are important activities within the approach. Hence, it allows them to define problems, assess various perspectives, and offer solutions and arguments.
  • Problem-Based Inquiry Approach : Students tackle real-world problems by examining various viable solutions. Moreover, they do extensive research, which entails case studies, documentaries, research papers, etc.
  • Guided Inquiry Approach : Students ask questions and find solutions to real-world issues under the guidance of teachers. It is especially beneficial because it helps them put their thoughts and doubts into words.

Why is pedagogy important?

Quality Improvement

Shifting from a teacher-centric to a student-centric pedagogical approach improves the quality of education. Furthermore, students take ownership of their learning and volunteer to gain an in-depth understanding of concepts and ideas.

Stimulating Learning Environment

It is noteworthy that the importance of pedagogy lies in establishing a stimulating learning environment. Besides, it focuses on strategic assessments, varied classroom activities, timely evaluations, etc.

Therefore, instead of engaging in monotonous and passive learning, students participate in problem-solving and experiential learning.

Diverse Ways of Learning

Cramming bookish knowledge for the sake of completing the syllabus is ineffective in the long haul and adds little or nothing to the learner’s journey. In contrast, appropriate pedagogies provide personalized learning pathways.

In fact, after assessing students’ learning habits, methods, and levels, teachers can develop assignments that suit the learner’s abilities. For instance, the use of multimedia in presentations and assignments is a diverse way of learning.

Cooperative Learning

As a result of working in collaboration with peers and teachers, students become cooperative and tolerant. They learn to listen to and respect diverse perspectives, helping to open their minds to others’s points of view. Consequently, it develops an ability to navigate social relationships, which is a significant competence to function in the career field.


Employing pedagogies to determine students’ understanding of the subject or concept enables teachers to address their needs. Hence, they ensure that the learning experience is holistic, wherein students accomplish their academic goals.

Also, well-constructed pedagogy encourages students to stay on the path by involving them in engaging learning activities.

Conclusion ,

Students’s attention spans and varying knowledge and learning levels are notable factors that contribute to the fulfillment of learning outcomes. Simultaneously, teaching methodologies are equally imperative to impact student learning.

Innovative pedagogies that allow students to collaborate, inquire, research, and learn independently ensure overall development.

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Gurudev Somani Author :

Gurudev Somani,

Academic Consultant

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