A pedagogue is a teacher who is highly academic, formal, or dogmatic in their approach to teaching. It is someone who is excessively concerned with adherence to rules, theory, and formalism.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Educator, instructor, tutor, teacher, master, mentor, guide


Student, apprentice, mentee

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun pedagogues, pedagogue
Verb None
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The new pedagogue in the department was highly respected for his knowledge of the subject.

  • The old-fashioned pedagogue insisted on teaching only the traditional method, ignoring modern trends.

  • The pedagogue’s approach was highly structured and focused on theory, leaving little room for practical application.

  • The pedagogue’s lectures were filled with complex vocabulary and formal language, leaving many students struggling to keep up.


The word “pedagogue” is derived from the Greek word “paidagogos”, which originally referred to a slave who escorted children to school. Over time, the meaning of the word evolved to refer to the teacher themselves rather than the person who escorted the children. Today, the term pedagogue is often used in a negative context to describe a teacher who is excessively focused on formalism, theory, and adherence to rules. In contrast, a good teacher is typically seen as someone who is more flexible, creative, and innovative in their approach to teaching.

The word “pedagogue” can be used on its own or in combination with other words to modify its meaning. For example, the prefix “auto-” can be added to create the word “autopedagogue”, which refers to someone who is self-taught and self-educated. The suffix “-ical” can be added to create the word “pedagogical”, which refers to the study of teaching and learning. The root word “ped-” also appears in other related words such as “pedagogy”, which refers to the theory and practice of teaching, and “pediatrician”, which refers to a doctor who specializes in the care of children.

In conclusion, the term “pedagogue” carries a negative connotation in modern usage, referring to a teacher who is excessively formal, academic, or dogmatic in their approach to teaching. However, it remains an important word in the history of education, and continues to be used in various contexts related to teaching and learning. Its variations such as “pedagogical” and “pedagogy” are widely used in education research and practice, while other derivatives such as “autopedagogue” provide a way to modify its meaning in new and creative ways.