Sententia Cotidiana XI

Updated: Aug 30, 2021

It looks as thought the theme for the week is going to be ancient concepts and terms used in modern education. Today, we look at the word PEDAGOGY. Yesterday, we looked at the origin of the word EDUCATION. The meaning to ‘lead out’ or ‘draw out’ resonates particularly with me: ‘the leading out’ of the pupil’s potential and confidence is for me a core part of education. A similar idea is contained in the word PEDAGOGY.



παιδος - of the child

(παις nominative)


ἀγωγός/ἀγωγη - leading, guiding



So, PEDADGOGY is a guiding process. In Greek, a παιδογωγος was a slave-tutor who accompanied a child to and from school. So, at first, they were a physical guide. It came to denote a more all round guide, both physically speaking and in a teaching capacity.



It is interesting that the Greek for education is παιδεία, also the word for childhood. More generally, it denotes the ‘rearing of a child’. Greek education certainly came to have its established content, but it certainly included physical and intellectual training. What I like about the term and also PEDAGOGY, is if one reconsiders them in light of their parent terms, one sees that education or rearing was envisaged as an ongoing and dynamic process, guidance and leading, something I think to be very important. Education is a process, a process of development, and perhaps one we do not ever really leave. And perhaps once we should not. I do not mean staying in school forever but preparing for learning as a lifelong process, that is set up in school, but which does not stop in school.

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