Current understanding of pedagogy

As we all know, most of the time, the audience facing the educator in a classroom or in any other learning environment are novice to some of the subjects the educator covers. It is also obvious that learning is most effective when learners can easily digest the message that is being delivered to them. To handle the situation correctly, teachers need really good pedagogy which for me means a lot. It is a whole art, a passion, a way to deliver messages to an audience in a right way with ethic and authenticity. To me all what we do in live should be done with care, love and authenticity for a better outcome. Teaching requires an art to better satisfy the needs of learners.

I love saying that my current understanding of pedagogy is still the one I had many years ago when I decided to look in a dictionary what the meaning of “Pedagogy” was because of somebody I liked the way he taught us. It was when I started secondary school and my cousin, who older than me while talking about the teaching skills of some our professors said “Oh that one has good pedagogy”. I know, I heard about the word “pedagogy” before. But what brought me to look at it that day was the fact that the professor she mentioned was so good at teaching. I wanted to learn more about him by looking at that qualifier my cousin used to describe him. who I admire and respect a lot like many other students. I still remember the passion, the art he used to put out there just to make us feel comfortable and understand everything he was covering.

Today when I remember about this story it makes me have more admiration for all educators with good teaching skills who inspired me a lot and because of whom I did find out thing that was not paying attention to. For instance, the school we were in by that time my cousin and I was a private school called “Groupe Scolaire les Pédagogues”, with “pédagogue” meaning somebody who has the qualities of a good teacher, a good educator. I never wondered what the name of my school stands for but while looking for the word pedagogy, I also looked at other related words. I was later happy to tell to people who ask me that I was studying at les “Pédagogues”.

That was a small story that I wanted to share as it did occur because of an educator’s talent and art of doing things, specially teaching in the right way.

The question I have though is do people acquire pedagogy through learning or trough experience over time or it is just something some people born with, something natural in them?

I am asking this question because of these reasons. 1.) There are many theories on good teaching strategies out there that did not exist let`s say twenty years ago and at the same time parents mainly older people are complaining that teaching is not done in a good way anymore. 2.) I used to hear people saying telling to others “you have the vocation to teach, or to be a lawyer, etc”.

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13 thoughts on “Current understanding of pedagogy”

  1. I think people learn to teach through both education and some experience. Being a student and teaching helps you understand the problems of learning/teaching, but being taught pedagogical techniques helps you understand what may be causing these problems and potentially how to solve them.
    I do think that an instructor’s personal feelings on teaching determine how much they choose to engage with students, how much time they put into thinking about how to teach, and whether they choose to continually edit course content to improve students’ learning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment. If I understand very well, this personal feeling then plays an important role in making somebody a good teacher if he/she choose to edit course content to improve students’ learning as you have said

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  2. I think pedagogy is a scientific and systematic education. Many teaching methods have been used, recorded and analyzed how they work.
    But sometimes I feel that people have a better education in the past because they have not experienced a new education or a new generation has emerged.

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    1. Hi Seungbee, thank you for your contribution to my blog post.
      I agree that new generation has emerged. My concern is why then with all the tools they have and more opportunities in terms of networked learning, the comparison people make is not that good for them.

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  3. Hey Oumoule, I liked your personal connection to pedagogy as you explained your experience with your cousin and the excellent Professor. You mention that, in your view, pedagogy is of an artistic nature. I find this to be very interesting. Some Philosophers, most notably, Martin Heidegger, have gone to great lengths to try and explain the the essence of what exactly it is that constitutes art. Amongst others, they posit that all that is art must have a thingly being, that is a function of composition, the composition of which is an externalization of internal impulse and that this externalized impulse is to be found and understood in a realm that is detached from the ordinary. Thus, works of music, sculpture, architecture and others are works of art. For those, other than the artist, to understand the impulse, they must depart from the ordinary realm and take themselves into that other where the impulse exists. If pedagogy were to require this much of an effort of the learner, I wonder if we would still regard that as being desirable. Quite on the contrary, it would seem that with effective pedagogy, it is the opposite of the artistic perception process that effectively delivers knowledge. Instead of the learner engaging in the daunting endeavor of finding the teacher’s impulse in the detached realm, the latter must deliberately detach themselves and transcend into that realm where the learner’s cognitive being brings itself out of the concealment. It is only then that the thatness of the knowledge from the teacher can get to interface with the thatness of the learner’s cognitive being.

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  4. Hey Oumoule,
    I appreciate the question you posed, wondering whether pedagogy was innate or learned, I agree with some other comments here that it is perhaps a bit of both. While I do think that some traits, like an attraction to public speaking and / or solid organizational skills may make become an educator a bit easier, I do not think any of us are born with rock-star status “teacher skills.” I think the fact that you are writing so thoughtfully about pedagogy and asking such considerate questions means you are certainly on the right path towards become an even better educator!

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  5. Hi Oumoule,

    Thank you for sharing the personal story about “Pedagogy.” What was interesting for me was that even before you looked up the meaning of the word, you had a good perception of it because as you say, you liked the style your teacher taught . That is how I like to think of ideal pedagogical practices, it may be based on many different skills, informed by complex theory, but what drives it at its heart is is the passion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Arash, I love your brief description of ideal pedagogical practices “….it may be based on many different skills, informed by complex theory, but what drives it at its heart is is the passion”. Thank you.

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  6. Great post Oumoule. I appreciate your decision to use the word “authenticity.” Authenticity is critical to gaining the trust and respect of your students and peers. Amos mentioned in his comment that effective educators are able to communicate with students on a level that each student can understand, rather than expecting the student to miraculously leap over any knowledge gaps (hopefully my paraphrasing is accurate). This also means that students need to be willing to listen to and value what you say. Being authentic and genuine is important towards gaining their trust.

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