What is a Teaching Pedagogy?

What exactly is a teaching pedagogy? Pedagogy is related to, but not identical to curriculum. Pedagogy is how the curriculum is approached or applied. It is not so much what is being taught, it is really how it’s being taught. Teaching approaches are most effective when they don’t focus on teaching a predetermined set of topics, but rather, engages with the children, observes them and listens to them. The ideal pedagogy will allow further exploration of the subjects in increasingly complex ways, with all involved acting as co-learners, constructing knowledge together.

The Pedagogy Paradigm

In Ontario, Canada, they have developed a paradigm which encourages pedagogies that promote a learning environment consisting of these four elements: Belonging, Well-Being, Expression, and Engagement. Though not precisely worded in the same ways, most educators will echo the merit of these rough goals. This can be understood as the development of a sense of belonging and a general feeling of ease, comfort, and well-being for both educators and students and the encouragement of an environment which accommodates expression and engagement.

Defining a Pedagogy

One difficult aspect of looking into educational pedagogy is the inconsistency in terms and terminology. Many different titles have been given to similar or identical pedagogy, and many approaches have elements in common with one another or somewhat overlap. Because of this, understanding details becomes all the more important.  In addition, it should be understood that any pedagogy is limited by the skills of the educator, and a talented educator can also transcend a pedagogy which is less than ideal.

The Goal of a Pedagogy

Pedagogy should be looked at as a means to achieve learning and growth in the student/child, rather than being dogmatic in pedagogy, it is much more valuable to be dedicated to the enrichment of the children/students.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a collaborative and engaging curriculum along with an environment which the child finds safe and comfortable and feels free to express themselves, try out new things and talk through concepts.

A learning environment which fosters the children’s own creativity, engagement and participation is the foundation of a modern teaching approach. How to achieve these goals for our learning or teaching environment is where pedagogy comes in. Without a framework, how will an educator, carer or parent achieve the best outcomes for the children they care for? How will the learning happen? Currently, there are several widely used and accepted pedagogies. In the UK, the following are most often used:

Pedagogy Teaching Pedagogies in the UK

The early years of a child’s life is an important period. Children experience rapid development and are capable of profound learning while they are young. Because of this, having a good approach to establish a habit of formal learning can be helpful in the development of a child, especially early in the child’s life.

As children grow, the approach to their learning may also naturally need to evolve with them. A good educator is capable of utilising a diverse range of approaches when teaching a child or student, meaning that strict pedagogical adherence is not necessarily the most effective means of teaching. So, although it is wise to be familiar with these pedagogies, strict adherence to a single one of them is not the ideal approach to teaching. Tailoring pedagogical approaches to the material and to those learning is likely the wisest and most effective means of communicating new ideas and information to children over the course of a long period.

Comparing Different Pedagogies

In the UK, the Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education project (EPPSE) has shed some light on the relationship between high-quality early years education and long-term improvements in outcomes, showing a particularly strong impact on children with parents who have lower levels of qualifications.

The research that has been dedicated to ECEC (Early Childhood Education and Care) is sprawling and vast and draws from a broad range of disciplines, making an evidence basis difficult to access and communicate, while also challenging to decipher, especially without a considerable investment of time.

teaching pedagogy coloured pencils

Because of this, there is some difficulty in really comparing pedagogies directly with each other. It is also difficult to elucidate easily consumable facts which determine which approach is most appropriate for which child and under which circumstances. How learning is done, and how it is done most effectively are difficult questions to address, so their answers are similarly difficult and certainly without conclusion. For this reason, it is best for childcarers, parents, and educators to be aware of all major approaches so they may utilise them when most appropriate.

Explore the major pedagogies:

  • Child-Centred (Coming soon)
  • Constructivism (Coming soon)
  • Montessori (Coming soon)
  • Didactic/Direct Instruction (Coming soon)
  • Play-Based (Coming soon)
  • Scaffolding (Coming soon)
  • Socio-Pedagogic (Coming soon)
  • Sustained Shared Thinking (Coming soon)
  • Teacher-Directed (Coming soon)

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