Definition of pedagogy
Defining pedagogy comprehensively is challenging due to its multiple connotations and the lack of clear boundaries that separate it from related concepts such as education and teaching. The overlap between pedagogy and education makes it difficult to distinguish between the two fields. Researchers have resorted to discussing pedagogy as either a theoretical or an applied discipline, as is the case with Hubert in his work "General Pedagogy." Applied pedagogy is considered the art of education and teaching based on empirical standards. The teacher's experience plays a fundamental role in their interactions with learners and subjects. Therefore, applied pedagogy is a broad term that encompasses any relationship between a teacher and a learner for the purpose of education or upbringing, at various levels.
On the other hand, theoretical pedagogy aims to analyze education itself. The differentiation between pedagogy and education relies on the distinction between the nature of their research and the qualitative approaches to pedagogical activities. According to most definitions, pedagogy is considered a theoretical study, while education is seen as practical application. This can be deduced from Dakraym's definition or from Harion's definition, which considers pedagogy as the science of education, whether physical, mental, or moral. Harion suggests that pedagogy should benefit from the findings of other scientific fields that deal with children, such as physiology, psychology, and history.
Another perspective can be derived from Foulquie's definition, which views pedagogy or the science of education as having a theoretical dimension aimed at achieving cognitive accumulation. It gathers facts about curriculum, techniques, and educational phenomena. Education, on the other hand, is defined at the applied level, as it primarily focuses on the practical system aimed at educating and forming learners. Mialaret proposes a classification in his dictionary, distinguishing between theoretical pedagogy and applied pedagogy. The former pertains to theoretical contemplations that are illuminated as a set of applied educational actions and activities.
What are the 5 Pedagogical Approaches?
What is Pedagogy?
Pedagogy might sound like a complicated concept, but, put simply, it’s just the method and practice of teaching in general, especially in relation to academic subjects or theoretical concepts. Pedagogy can refer to all levels of teaching, from nursery and primary, all the way up to higher education.
When it comes to the fundamentals of Pedagogy, there are five different approaches to consider. Each of these approaches is usually placed on a spectrum from teacher-focused to learner-focused pedagogy. As the names suggest, teacher-focused pedagogy revolves around teachers, putting them at the centre of the learning process, while learner-focused pedagogy is centred around learners playing an active role in the learning process.
So, what are the 5 pedagogical approaches?
1. The Constructivist Approach
The constructivist approach is based on the concept of constructivism. This is the belief that learners create their own understanding of the world around them, and this understanding is based on experience through their everyday lives as they grow. Using specific experiences, people transform information they’ve accumulated into knowledge and understanding.
This approach is handy for allowing learners to take a more active role in the learning process, as it encourages them to use their previous knowledge as a foundation for understanding new concepts, as opposed to passively receiving information.
2. The Collaborative Approach
The collaborative approach puts a big emphasis on collaborative learning, which is the idea that learners work together to gain a greater understanding of the information they’ve been presented with. The strength of this approach is that learners can capitalise on each other’s understanding of the information, and even their unique skills and resources.
This process allows for learners to create an environment where people can interact with each other by sharing experiences and knowledge. This can be done in a variety of ways, including exchanging ideas and information, and even evaluating or monitoring somebody else’s work.
3. The Reflective Approach
The reflective approach focuses primarily on analysing what the teacher and learners are doing in the classroom. It encourages thinking about teaching practices and figuring out ways to improve them in an attempt to make learning processes more effective for a class of learners. This can be done through processes such as self-evaluation and self-reflection, used as ways to essentially learn more about your own practice, improve a certain practice (like small groups and cooperative learning) or to focus on a problem learners are having.
Some specific forms of assessment that anyone can use in a reflective capacity are diary presentations and journals.
4. The Integrative Approach
The integrative approach differs from the other teaching approaches in the sense that it tries to provide learners with an environment where they can make connections between the current topic they’re learning about and other topics they’ll come across at different stages of the curriculum. This means that it tends to focus on specific connections between different bits of information, rather than facts in isolation.
While this approach is more commonly used in higher education, it can still be quite useful at other stages of education too, as it can help learners gain a broader understanding of the world around them by linking together bits of related information. Studies have shown that this kind of approach can help learners stay engaged on the topics they’re learning abou
5. The Inquiry-Based Approach
The inquiry-based approach is unique in the sense that it encourages learners to engage in exploration, investigation, research and study. It begins with presenting questions, scenarios or problems that require critical thinking to solve, which is vastly different from other approaches where facts are presented in simple manner.
This approach requires more than just simply giving the correct answers to questions and encourages more thoughtful and engaged participation from learners. This makes it incredibly effective when teaching science, as many science topics are more easily learned through an understanding of processes rather than isolated facts.