Pedagogy: what is it?

Douris_Man_with_wax_tabletWikipedia says this about pedagogy:

Pedagogy (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

“Pedagogy (/ˈpɛdəɡɒdʒi/ or /ˈpɛdəɡoʊdʒi/) is the science and art of education, specifically instructional theory. An instructor develops conceptual knowledge and manages the content of learning activities in pedagogical settings. (…) Students learn as they internalize the procedures, organization, and structures encountered in social contexts as their own schemata. The learner requires assistance to integrate prior knowledge with new knowledge. Children must also develop metacognition, or the ability to learn how to learn. (…)”

A couple of elements jump out at me.

  1. first that education is not simply science. Some aspects of education cannot be captured by the scientific method of discovery and understanding, and remains in the real of intuitive and emotional expressive art.
  2. second that the instructor pre-digests and arranges knowledge and learning environments – she designs the learning experience by manipulating the building blocks of learning.
  3. students do the learning.
  4. the assumption that students do not learn (the right thing) without guidance.

And: “(…) The word pedagogue actually relates to the slave who escorts Roman children to school. (…)”

So as pedagogues we serve the learner by guiding them to places where they can learn. An image I particularly like. This implies that the learner leads, sets the agenda and that the environment plays the crucial operational role. In fact learning can be defined as the change in behavior through the interaction between the learner(system) and the environment (super-system, system made up of lower level subsystems). Pedagogy is about dealing with people (students/learners) inducing them to learn by exposing them to situations where they can learn specific things. In general, to me, this means that pedagogy is mostly about stimulating intrinsic motivation and using learning styles appropriate to the characteristics of the learners state of development and existing body of knowledge, skills, competences and proficiencies. Pedagogy is the soil. Didactics is the method by which the soil gives rise to the food forest of competences. What is your view of pedagogy?