We currently have a tag used on 265 questions, with the following wiki excerpt:

This tag is related to the role and duties of a teacher, an academic instructor, tutor or a teaching assistant.

and is also has as a synonym.

Now, a tag has been created and applied to 1 question. Its wiki excerpt is:

Relates to the method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept.

Should we have both tags, as they are currently defined?

  • Note: there is a brief discussion about this tag in chat
    – ff524
    Sep 19, 2014 at 1:18
  • One definition for pedagogy that I found differs from teaching is "The strategies of instruction.", which implies to me that methodology may be what the creator was aiming for.
    – Pharap
    Sep 21, 2014 at 16:28
  • The 'pedagogy' tag is needed because 'teaching' doesn't display the level of pretension appropriate for academia. :)
    – reirab
    Sep 26, 2014 at 19:36

4 Answers 4


I don't think that the tag, as currently defined, will be useful.

"Relates to the method and practice of teaching" seems liable to confusion with to me.

I don't think I could reliably determine which questions should be tagged pedagogy instead of/in addition to teaching, and I suspect I'm not the only one. (And the upvotes on this comment suggest that others agree.)

This is not to say that I think "teaching" and "pedagogy" mean exactly identical things. But, I'm concerned that in practice, the distinction is too fine for many users (and the excerpt is not very helpful in clarifying the distinction).

I don't think it's productive to have a pair of tags that only a small portion of users on the site can actually distinguish between. Tags that are subject to misinterpretation or misuse are bad for the site.

  • Based on the current vote count of this answer (+6 vs +3 for answers in favor of an extra tag), I have made pedagogy a synonym of teaching
    – ff524
    Mar 6, 2015 at 20:39

I created the tag yesterday so there is currently only one question with the tag, but I would imagine that all, or nearly all, questions that are suitable for the tag would also be suitable for the tag. While most of the questions with the tag are also about pedagogy, there are some that seem clearly not about pedagogy. Looking at the first 50 questions with the tag sorted by votes, the following 7 questions do not seem to be about pedagogy in even the widest possible sense.

Is it ethical to profit by having my students buy my textbook?

Do student reviews of teachers matter?

Do teaching evaluations lead to lower standards in class?

Is it ethical to share the knowledge for free that I've learned at the university?

How did modern western post-secondary education become tied up with research and publications?

Is there a correlation between being a good teacher and being a good researcher?

Is it okay to use students as a reference when applying for a teaching position?

That to me suggests that we needed a narrow tag on teaching to alert users to the fact that it is addressing pedagogical issues of teaching. I think we have a number of umbrella tags that fully encompass other tags. For example I cannot see any questions with the tag that should not also be tagged . Similarly seems to include everything in , but also many other questions.

I would propose that the above question be tagged teaching and the vast majority of the questions currently tagged teaching be retagged to include both teaching and pedagogy (although from a technical standpoint it might be easier to retag everything and then remove the pedagogy tag where needed).

  • How would you tag the above questions? I could see how "teaching" is appropriate to all of them, but pedagogy is not.
    – aeismail
    Sep 19, 2014 at 11:13
  • @aeismail I would tag them teaching while I would dual tag questions that are about pedagogy. I will edit to try and clarify.
    – StrongBad
    Sep 19, 2014 at 11:54
  • 2
    I would imagine that all, or nearly all, questions that are suitable for the pedagogy tag would also be suitable for the teaching tag - it seems like the mostly likely outcome of this is that some questions will be tagged 'pedagogy', some will be tagged 'teaching', some will be tagged with both, and we'll have a big mess (like we currently have with 'journals' and 'publications', and 'job-search' and 'faculty-application')
    – ff524
    Sep 21, 2014 at 21:13

These seem different to me.

Questions with the "teaching" tag will just refer to questions involving situations relating to the teacher's role in courses they teach. This might include classroom management, assessment, etc. For example, a question written by a TA who wants to know how to discipline some cheating students would use "teaching".

Questions with "pedagogy" should refer to questions relating to the teaching methodology. Perhaps "pedagogics" or "teaching-methods" is a more precise term, and more relates to the details of how one frames the content or skills for effective delivery to students. I can find no examples of this on Academics, but that maybe is not a big surprise, because most tertiary instructors just lecture and transfer the learning responsibility onto students.

Most questions tagged "pedagogy" are going to also have the "teaching" tag, but the reverse will not always be true.


A tag the specifically denotes questions that ask "how do I present X in the best way?" (which is a proper subset of ) would be useful.

I propose to use which is, imho and afaik, a better term for what happens at universities.

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