What is a Pedagogy, What is a Curriculum? What is a Professional Occupation?


In early childhood education, there remains confusion between what is pedagogy and what is curriculum. Why is it important to understand the difference between curriculum and pedagogy? We, as early childhood educators, need to understand the difference to be able to develop responses to state and federal mandates that seek to narrow the multiplicity of early childhood environments to a standardized platform of how young children are educated.

In traditional education, curriculum is the content you teach, while pedagogy is seen as the way in which you teach it. Pedagogy and curriculum thus blend together as the understanding between how to teach and why you teach in a certain way as defined in K-12 education. 

In learner-centered education, pedagogy (why we teach the way we do) takes on a new meaning because it incorporates elements of a professional occupation that can be missing from practices in the wider early childhood field. Professional standards norm a community of practice supporting the enactment of a consistent and recognized curriculum (how we teach) based on a theoretical framework that is consistent across programs. 

To learn more about pedagogies, curriculum, and professionalism, check out the table with information on each. 

What implications does this have for your practice?