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Pedagogy (//, //, or // is the discipline that deals with the theory and practice of education; or the study and practice of 'how best to teach'. Its aims range from the general (full development of the human being via liberal education) to the narrower specifics of vocational education (the imparting and acquisition of specific skills).
For example, Paulo Freire referred to his method of teaching people as "critical pedagogy". In correlation with those instructive strategies, the instructor's own philosophical beliefs of instruction are harbored and governed by the pupil's background knowledge and experience, situation, and environment, as well as learning goals set by the student and teacher. One example would be the Socratic schools of thought. The teaching of adults, however, may be referred to as andragogy.
The word comes from the Greek παιδαγωγία (paidagōgia) from παιδαγωγός (paidagōgos),in which παῖς (país, genitive παιδός, paidos) means "child" and ἄγω (ágō) means "lead"; literally translated "to lead the child". Hostile implications in the word are at least from the time of Pepys (1650s). Related: Pedagogal.
An academic degree, Ped. D., Doctor of Pedagogy, is awarded honorarily by some US universities to distinguished teachers (in the US and UK, earned degrees within the instructive field are classified as an Ed. D., Doctor of Education or a Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy). The term is also used to denote an emphasis in education as a specialty in a field (for instance, a Doctor of Music degree in piano pedagogy).
The word pedagogue actually relates to the slave who escorts Roman children to school. In Denmark, a pedagogue is a practitioner of pedagogy. The term is primarily used for individuals who occupy jobs in pre-school education (such as kindergartens and nurseries) in Scandinavia. But a pedagogue can occupy various kinds of jobs, e.g. in retirement homes, prisons, orphanages, and human resource management. These are often recognised as social pedagogues as they perform on behalf of society.
The pedagogue's job is usually distinguished from a teacher's by primarily focusing on teaching children life-preparing knowledge such as social skills and cultural norms, etc. There is also a very big focus on care and well-being of the child. Many pedagogical institutions also practice social inclusion. The pedagogue's work also consists of supporting the child in their mental and social development.
In Denmark all pedagogues are trained at a series of national institutes for social educators located in all major cities. The programme is a 3.5-year academic course, giving the student the title of a Bachelor in Social Education (Danish: Professionsbachelor som pædagog).
It is also possible to earn a master's degree in pedagogy/educational science from the University of Copenhagen. This BA and MA program has a more theoretical focus compared to the above-mentioned Bachelor in Social Education.
In Hungary, the word pedagogue (pedagógus) is synonymous with teacher (tanár); therefore, teachers of both primary and secondary schools may be referred to as pedagogues, a word that appears also in the name of their lobbyist organizations and labor unions (e.g. Labor Union of Pedagogues, Democratic Labor Union of Pedagogues). However, undergraduate education in Pedagogy does not qualify students to become teachers in primary or secondary schools but makes them able to apply to be educational assistants. As of 2013, the 5-year training period was re-installed in place of the undergraduate and postgraduate division which characterized the previous practice.
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