Pedagogy Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

Believe it or not, there are more than 600,000 words that make up the Oxford English Dictionary. 

Yup, it’s true — the dictionary has thousands of words, some of which you probably use on a daily basis. While you likely know the meaning behind many of these words, chances are there are quite a few that may leave you a bit perplexed. 

Take pedagogy (ped – uh -goh-jee, -goj-ee), for instance; do you know what the definition is behind this interesting word? 

Read on to discover all there is to know about pedagogy, including its meaning, origin, usage, and more.

What Is the Definition of Pedagogy?

If you ask us, one of the best ways to develop a deep understanding of a new term is by researching definitions from multiple sources. So, to help you become better acquainted with our word of the day, we’ve compiled a short list of definitions from three trusted dictionaries for you to review below:

  • According to the Cambridge Dictionary, pedagogy is the study of the methods and activities of teaching — especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept. 
  • The Britannica Dictionary says pedagogy refers to a field that relies heavily on educational psychology, which encompasses scientific theories of learning. 
  • When used as a noun in American English, the Collins Dictionary defines pedagogy as the profession or function of a teacher. 

After reviewing the definitions listed above, we can conclude that our word of the day refers to the science, art, or profession of teaching. 

In other words, pedagogy is another term for education as well as the function or work of a teacher — AKA, teaching. 

What Are the Pedagogical Approaches?

There are six common pedagogical approaches to teaching:

  • Constructivist pedagogy helps students to understand the meaning of their learning materials rather than just passively ingesting content. 
  • Collaborative pedagogy discards the notion that students can learn, think, and write effectively in isolation. 
  • Inquiry-based pedagogy encourages learners to ask questions and complete research while learning different concepts. 
  • Integrative pedagogy is the process of making connections between experiences and concepts so that skills and information can be applied to complex as well as simple issues or challenges. 
  • Reflective pedagogy encourages the teacher to reflect upon lessons, assessments, and projects with the goal of improving them for future use.  
  • Socratic pedagogy (aka the Socratic method) is a method of teaching that was named after the famous Greek philosopher Socrates who taught learners by asking a series of questions. 

What Is the Etymology of Pedagogy?

The term pedagogy is the theory and practice of learning, but where did it come from?

Well, the history behind our word of the day is a little blurry, but it’s known to have originated from the Greek word “paidagogos,” comprising of two parts: “paidos” (meaning child) and “agogos” (meaning leader). 

With this definition in mind, pedagogy was literally meant to refer to the art — or science — of teaching. Over the years, however, many scholars have made use of this term to imply teaching kids or the teacher subject-based instruction and andragogy to imply student-directed instruction. 

Today, the word pedagogy simply describes various ways through which teachers try to ensure they exploit the best possibility of acuity and drive willing learners to love the learning process — also known as the “meshing hypothesis.” 

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Pedagogy?

Synonyms and antonyms are great tools that can help enrich your existing vocabulary while cementing the words you’re trying to learn to memory. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the synonyms and antonyms of pedagogy. 


  • Indoctrination
  • Direction
  • Educational activity
  • Didactics
  • Education 
  • Guidance 
  • Tutelage
  • Higher education
  • Coaching
  • Conditioning
  • Readying
  • Development
  • Apprenticeship
  • Cultivation
  • Preparation
  • Nurturing
  • Enlightenment
  • Tutoring
  • Improvement
  • Pedagogics 


  • Confusion
  • Obfuscation
  • Ignorance
  • Destruction
  • Worsening
  • Harm
  • Nonacademic
  • Unscholarly
  • Neglect
  • Ignorance
  • Noneducational

How Can You Use Pedagogy in a Sentence?

By now, you likely have a good understanding of what the word pedagogy means, but do you feel comfortable using it in a sentence? Not to worry— it can be a tough word to grasp! That said, here are some sentence examples for you to study below:

Seeing as the school has the most progressive pedagogy in the nation, it makes perfect sense that it has a 100 percent graduation rate!

Did you know that the words pedagogy and pedagogue come from the Greek words paidos and agogos?

More often than not, pedagogy is described simply as the act of teaching.

Paulo Friere was the pioneer of critical pedagogy.

When it comes to pedagogy, there are a number of learning processes and learning styles.

The profession of a teacher — aka pedagogy — is widely recognized as an essential profession.

If you do especially well working in small group instruction, then you may want to find a teacher who specializes in collaborative pedagogy.

Mary typically excels when teachers use reflective pedagogy as their approach to learning in class.

What Are Translations of Pedagogy?

Now that you understand what our word of the day entails, let’s take a look at some common translations listed below:

  • Afrikaans — Pedagogie
  • Bulgarian — педагогика
  • Arabic — التربيه
  • Croatian — pedagogija
  • Greek — παιδαγωγική (paidagōgia)
  • Italian — pedagogia
  • Czech — pedagogika
  • Finnish — pedagogiikka
  • French — pédagogie
  • Japanese — 教育学
  • Korean — 교육학
  • Danish — pædagogik
  • German — Pädagogik
  • Dutch — pedagogie
  • Polish — pedagogika
  • Swedish — pedagogik
  • Thai — ครุศาสตร์
  • Turkish — pedagoji
  • Ukrainian — педагогіка
  • Vietnamese — sư phạm
  • Portuguese — pedagogia
  • Norwegian — pedagogikk
  • Russian — педагогика
  • Spanish — pedagogía

Bottom Line

So, what does the word pedagogy mean, you ask?

This word of the day refers to how instructors teach — both in theory and in practice. That said, pedagogy also refers to the study of teaching approaches and how they affect learners.  


Pedagogy definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

PEDAGOGY Definition | Cambridge English Dictionary

Pedagogy: Methods, Theories, & Facts | Britannica