pedagogical approaches

Pedagogy: A Look at the Five Pedagogical Approaches

Pedagogical approaches refer to the strategies and techniques used by teachers to facilitate learning in students. 

In this deep dive discussion, we get into the weeds of the pedagogical approaches, from discussing what it is, and what it aims to do, we elaborately and logically discuss their types and conclude how these approaches would enhance the learning and teaching experience with lively examples!!


A rather unusual and seemingly complicated word – pedagogy means the” act of leading a child”. It is mostly used in an educational sense – it refers to a specific method and practice of teaching and training students.


Approaches such as behaviorism, humanism, constructivism, connectivism , and cognitivism all come under the umbrella of pedagogical approaches, these seemingly difficult words all make the learning and teaching experience much easier and free-flowing.

Pedagogical Approach 1: Behaviorism

Behaviorism is a theory that establishes the idea that a behavior can be enforced or modified based on anecdotes and consequences of a behavior. inflicting specific behavior is an extremely important aspect of creating a learning environment and most teachers fail to establish this code of conduct in their classes, This is where the pedagogical theory of behaviorism comes in. Words like Anecdotes and consequences still keep this wonderful concept of inflicting specific behaviors a bit difficult to understand.


Let us understand behaviorism’s implementation through examples –  most of these are very common techniques used by teachers and parents without them or us even knowing about it:

“You can watch TV after you complete your homework”

A very common phrase in which positive reinforcement is used to encourage the completion of homework:

“Students who do not pass their quiz would have to attend summer school”

Here punishment is used to make students perform better on their quizzes.

The two examples we used vividly describe how positive reinforcements or punishments can shape behaviors, and how effective usage of anecdotes and consequences can enhance learning and teaching experiences.


Suppose you are a teacher and you want your students to exhibit certain behaviors; for that, you set a classroom money scheme that will be awarded to students who exhibit these behaviors and taken away from those who don’t, this reward system will ultimately be a motivation for students which would turn your desired behaviors into students as their habits, when a teacher sees his students behaving adequately, his teaching style is being facilitated by student behavior, a wonderful learning environment is set.

pedagogical approach 1: behaviorism

Pedagogical Approach 2: Cognitivism

Cognitivism is a learning theory that focuses on how “information” is received, organized, stored, and retrieved by the mind.

Cognitivism is a pedagogical approach that emphasizes the point that “instructions” should be always given clearly and concisely making them meaningful and understandable to the learner or listener.

Effective Methods for Implementing the Cognitivism Pedagogical Approach

It is a quality teaching practice, which is used in developing classroom lessons and helping students learn higher-order thinking skills that help them grab lessons vividly. You probably have used or experienced cognitivism without even knowing, a seasoned teacher would always: 

  1. Begin a lesson with a hook so that students remember the lesson because of that catchy hook.
  2. Recalling the previous lesson and relating it with the current lesson adds an extra layer of memory, when the student recalls one of the lessons, they’d automatically remember its references with the previous one and this process goes on, eventually connecting multiple lessons and even whole chapters into a chain of easily understandable and memorized concepts.
  3. Chunking information into smaller and digestible parts.
  4. Using graphics to convey concepts because graphics and images stay way longer in our minds than words and sentences do.


Suppose you as a teacher want to teach your students, long division, first, you break down the problem into smaller components, knowledge of multiplication, division, and subtraction is required, to give your students a thorough idea about it, also you develop teaching strategies to streamline the learning process

pedagogical approach 2: Cognitivism

Pedagogical Approach 3: Constructivism

Most curriculums today do not involve effective learning methods such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving, most students remain passive participants even during the most interesting topics.

Constructivism is a pedagogical approach that promotes learning by creating meaning through experience.

Effective Methods for Implementing the  Constructivism Pedagogical Approach

Constructivism helps in making learning meaningful to students by using interactive teaching strategies to help students construct knowledge based on their own interactive experience, most teachers implement constructivism effectively through: 

  1. Provide opportunities for collaboration: Creating opportunities for students to be actively involved in the learning process, such as through group discussions, projects, and hands-on activities.
  2. Use inquiry-based learning: emphasizing questioning, exploration, and discovery. Teachers can use inquiry-based learning to encourage learners to ask questions, investigate, and find solutions to problems. Ie. a teacher is planning a unit on climate change and its impact; start by asking students what they know about the topic and brainstorming questions first up, select 1 or 2 questions and guide them forward with these questions, the teacher comes up with an expert opinion, some article, some numbers to retain interest, making groups, allowing students to debate and plan real-world solution would be a perfect learning drill.
  3. Debating on controversial current issues and topics.
  4. Role-playing and simulating historic events.


You as a teacher want to teach your students how we can reduce waste to sustain the earth’s resources. You plan several drills, to give them an experience and hands-on approach towards the problem, encourage them to take action and find out about themselves, and at last, leave the search for solutions to them.

pedagogical approach 3: Constructivism

Pedagogical Approach 4: Humanism

Humanism is a pedagogical approach that emphasizes the importance of the individual learner and their personal development. 


Humanism essentially focuses on making the classroom more student-centered rather than teacher-centered, teachers should be mere facilitators rather than dispensers of information.

The goal is to create a learning environment that supports and encourages the development of the whole person, including emotional, social, and intellectual growth. This approach allows learners to take responsibility for their learning and to develop the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their lives. By emphasizing collaboration, critical thinking, and self-directed learning, humanism encourages learners to be active participants in the learning process and to take ownership of their own educational experiences.

Effective Methods for Implementing the Humanism Pedagogical Approach

There are several effective methods that teachers can use to implement the humanism pedagogical approach in their classrooms:

1. Encourage self-directed learning

Teachers can encourage self-directed learning by providing learners with choices in how they learn and allowing them to set their own goals and timelines for completing tasks.

2. Active listening

Active listening involves “fully concentrating” on what the learner is saying, both verbally and non-verbally, without interruption or distraction. This allows the teacher to understand the learner’s needs, concerns, and interests, and to respond appropriately. Some key aspects of active listening include:

  1. Maintaining eye contact with the learner.
  2. Using nonverbal cues such as nodding, smiling, and leaning forward to show engagement.
  3. Paraphrasing and summarizing the learner’s words to confirm understanding.
  4. Avoid distractions such as electronic devices or interruptions.
3. Empathy

In education, empathy has immense importance. Humanism teaches the teacher to know the learner’s perspective, which is important because this pedagogical approach creates a great learning environment.

  1. Acknowledging the learner’s feelings and perspective
  2. Validating the learner’s experiences
  3. Using positive language to encourage and motivate the learner
  4. Offering support and assistance when needed


pedagogical approach 4: Humanism

Throughout the unit, the teacher would focus on creating a safe and supportive classroom environment where students feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. The teacher would use active listening and empathy to understand students’ perspectives and experiences and would encourage students to do the same for each other.

the teacher might ask students to reflect on what they had learned and how their understanding of poetry had changed.

This student-centered drill on poetry is an effective example of humanism. The pedagogical approach itself is very under-used in today’s education system, but its importance cannot be undermined.

Pedagogical Approach 5: Connectivism

Connectivism is a modern pedagogical approach that emphasizes the role of technology and the Internet in facilitating learning. It is called connectivism because it invokes the importance of making connections between different pieces of information and between different people and resources.

Effective Methods for Implementing the Connectivism Pedagogical Approach

1. Curate and manage information

With so much information available, learners need to develop skills in finding,    organizing, and evaluating information to make meaningful connections.

2. Collaboration

emphasize the importance of social networks and collaboration in the learning process.

3. Learning resources

With the internet and other digital tools, learners have access to a vast network of information and can connect with others from around the world.


pedagogical approach 5: connectivism

Throughout this process, the teacher would act as a facilitator helping the students make meaningful connections and deepen their understanding of the subject.

In this example, connectivism is used to foster a sense of community and collaboration among learners and to encourage them to take an active role in seeking out and applying knowledge to real-world problems.


In conclusion, the five pedagogical approaches provide teachers with a range of options for meeting the diverse learning needs of students. When considering implementing a certain approach, it is important to analyze its individual characteristics, as each technique boasts unique traits and drawbacks. To enhance the academic achievements of students, teachers should stay updated with the latest educational advancements and be willing to try out various teaching methods.


What are the 5 pedagogical approaches?

5 pedagogical approaches:
1. Behaviorism
2. Cognitivism
3. Constructivism
4. Humanism
5. Connectivism

Can I use a combination of pedagogical approaches?

Yes, combining pedagogical approaches can be effective in catering to the diverse learning needs of students. However, it is important to ensure that the combination is well-balanced and aligned with the learning goals.

How do I choose the right pedagogical approach?

Choosing the right pedagogical approach involves considering various factors, such as the learner’s needs and learning goals, the subject matter, and the learning environment. It is also important to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and research in education.

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