Pedagogy / Educational Science

What is the meaning of "Pedagogy"?

"Pedagogy" is known as the science and art of education. Its aims range from theories about society and the human being to skill acquisition.

A "Pedagogue" is known as a practitioner of pedagogy, the word itself etymologically goes back to the slave who escorts Roman children to school.

Even though Pedadogy on one side is a practical science, the theoretical underlinings of Pedagogy are highly theoretical and non-empirical. Pedagogy is strongly linked to philosophical and humanistic traditions, discussing norms, values and theories of society and their Pedagogues.

What is the aim of "Educational Science"?

The nowadays Pedagogy more and more takes empirical research into account. This is expressed in the change of the name of this scientific subject: Educational science focus on the creation and empirical evaluation on methods for shaping behavior with focus on family and school.

Key questions of Pedagogy / Educational Science

Pedagogy focus on general questions concerning the society:

  • Where shall the society go to?
  • Which should be the goals of education?

Educational Science focus on the methods:

  • Publishing and discussion methods used by parents and teachers to make children be part of society
  • Introducing didactical methods to teachers and parents

Relation between Pedagogy and Developmental/Educational Psychology

The difference between Pedagogy and Psychology can be described by the order of interest in the core questions: Pedagogy asks at first about the way of the society, and then about the methods how to be successful to help the child becoming part of it.
Developmental Psychology focuses at first on the needs of the individual child. On those of the society Developmental Psychology also asks only with the view on the child: Does it help this certain child to be satisfied in its life, if it follows the norms and values of the given society, by the given circumstances in its family?


  • Piaget, J. (1926): The Language and Thought of the Child. London: Routledge & Kegan.
  • Vygotsky, D. (1962). Thought and Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Montessori, M. (1912). The Montessori Method: Scientific Pedagogy as Applied to Child Education in the Children's Houses