Saturday, March 11, 2017


The educational literature is spewed with words such as "syllabus", "pedagogy", "curriculum". However, there is lack of clarity and sometimes misconceptions on what each means. For instance, pedagogy is loosely used to denote the instructional method in the classroom (chalk-and-talk, powerpoint slides, activity-based learning, etc.). Pedagogy is a much more comprehensive term. Below I quote Prof. Mohanan on what each of these terms means - in the hope that this will give clarity to those interested in education.

a) Syllabus: The GOALS — the outcomes of learning that our educational intervention aims at.

b) Pedagogy: The MEANS — the strategies we use to achieve the goals: this includes learning activities guided by the teacher, in and outside the classroom; textbooks and other learning materials; assessment; policies; and infrastructure.

c) Curriculum: The combination of (a) and (b). Every learning activity has both what
students end up learning (learning outcomes) and how the teacher, textbooks, and
assessment tasks guide them towards those outcomes (pedagogical strategies).

From the above, it is probably clear that pedagogy is composed of not just instructional method, but also the teaching-learning materials, assessment etc.