Pedagogy In Teacher Education: Effective Teaching And Learning Process

What constitutes pedagogy is complex and not easily defined. Even the definition of pedagogy appears to be somewhat obscure. Pedagogy can also be defined as any conscious activity by one person designed to enhance the learning of another. Pedagogy is the act of teaching together with its attendant discourse. It is what one needs to know, and the skills one needs to command in order to make and justify the many different kinds of decisions of which teaching is constituted. Pedagogy can also be understood by describing a Pedagogical Setting as the practice that a teacher, together with a particular group of learners creates, enacts and experiences. In doing so they suggest that pedagogy is a joint activity in which the learner has an active role. This offers a different perspective from previous definitions offered and draws in the social interaction between teachers and learners. The variables which help in understanding teachers’ pedagogy are complex and suggest there are many factors that affect practice. Teachers bring far more than just the latest government thinking on how they should teach into the classroom. Practice may be affected, for example by the school environment, a teacher’s position in the school, previous teaching experience, teacher training and a teacher’s own experience of learning.

The Artistry of pegadogy

Based on the notion that pedagogic action is reflexive and based on a normative consideration of the formative growth of another, pedagogy by definition is a creative endeavor. Requiring knowledge about subject matter, students, and self; pedagogy is shaped by deliberative and oftentimes, immediate reasoning. If education is going to live up to its profession, it must be seen as a work of art which requires the same qualities of personal enthusiasm and imagination as are required by the musician, painter, or artist. Much like the artist who turns pigments, clumps of clay or text into artwork, the pedagogue shapes the abilities of her or his students through pedagogic choices. The artistry of teaching is found in how teachers craft action the rhetorical features of language, the skill displayed in guiding interaction, or the selection of an appropriate description of an apt example. In these moments, the artistry of pedagogy is expressed. Pedagogues also share aesthetic concern with artists. In the same manner that an artist carves a piece of wood or strokes a canvas in a certain direction, pedagogues are bound by virtue of the pedagogical relationship to shape the environment for the good of students. Pedagogic action should imbue a sense of love and care for students based on the pedagogue’s commitment to the academic and personal growth of students. Like the artist who “embodies himself in the attitude of the perceiver while he works”. Pedagogues shape their action based on their students’ point of view. Another example  is like the jazz musician who knows how to improvise by evaluating chord progressions and the cues of the rhythm section, teachers must also improvise the curriculum pedagogically by responding and acting in the best interests of students. Thus pedagogy is more than method or technique. Pedagogy is the constant production of an experience with students, an artistic expression framed by a normative concern for growth.

Academic Achievement

Academic achievement is therefore a yard stick for ascertaining the capabilities of a student from which his overt, covert and inherent or unrevealed abilities could be inferred. Academic performance is generally used to determine how well an individual is able to assimilate, retain, recall and communicate his knowledge of what has been learnt be it in their undergraduate projects, seminars, paper and other departmental activities. Academic performance is the demonstrated achievement of learning as opposed to the potential for learning. It is knowledge attained or skills developed in school subjects usually designated by scores in formal tests or examinations. Academic achievement refers to the observed and measured aspect of a student‘s mastery of skills and subject contents as measured with valid and reliable tests. It suggests that academic performance is different from the academic potentials of an individual. It is the measured relatively permanent changes in an individual‘s behaviour due to experiences acquired. A student‘s academic performance is usually measured by teacher-made tests or standardized tests  which in most cases are referred to as external examinations like the Senior School. Academic attainment as measured by the examinations of the traditional kind involves most of the capacity to express oneself in a written form. It requires the capacity to retain propositional knowledge, to select from such knowledge appropriately in response to a specified request and to do so without reference to possible sources of information. The capacity to memorize and organise materials is particularly important. It is quite possible to have a high ability coupled with a low attainment, achievement or performance. Academic achievement is the present attainment or learning of a particular skill or knowledge demonstrated by evidence of some kind, including performance in test. Academic performance is the achievement of a student in terms of aggregate obtained in a test or examination in specific subjects that cover a given academic programme.

The Importance Of Pedagogy In Teacher Education

Pedagogy in educational vernacular has gained currency as a substitute for methods of instruction or techniques of teaching. Based in part on the misperception that teaching is a technical activity, this instrumental understanding of pedagogy rationalizes and reduces the work of teaching to a universally applicable skill set. As a result, the scientific pursuit of pedagogy often excludes the intimate choices and interactions that ultimately constitute instruction. However, considering that teaching is a situated and reflexive activity requiring teachers’ judgment in apprehending events of practice, why curricular and instructional decisions are made are as much a part of pedagogy as the outwardly visible method or approach ultimately taken. Returning to the etymological roots of pedagogue, one finds that the term refers not to a teacher, but a slave who cared for and accompanied a student to and from school. From this perspective, pedagogy as the actions of pedagogues implies an inter-individual relationship, based on the concern of one for another. Moving this relational understanding of pedagogy into the realm of education, teachers stand in pedagogical relation to students. Placed in a position to lead students toward academic and personal growth, the very nature of teaching and pedagogic action is animated by continuous discernment and constant determination. In this sense, the “why” and “what” of pedagogy are fused together by the nature of the relationship between a teacher and student.

Conclusion

In conclusion considering that the nature of the pedagogical relationship between teacher educator and student demands a commitment to the growth of that student, pedagogy demands artistry. However, in the pursuit of pedagogy, positivist conceptions of scientific research in education have muted the deeper and implicit understandings of the interactive and deliberative nature of pedagogic action. Yet, in transcribing and finalizing the artistry of pedagogy into instrumental approaches and strategies the only value free conceptions of pedagogy possible education research stifles access to the moments and deliberations that in many ways are the essence of pedagogy. For teacher education research, self-study provides portraits of pedagogy that are vital in constructing an understanding the dynamism of teaching teachers. In capturing the phenomenon of pedagogical moments or interrogating pedagogic acts, self-study research provides a needed glimpse into the veiled pedagogical understandings of teacher educators.

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