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Professional Development | Teacher & Classroom Resources

The Ultimate Guide to Pedagogy in CTE

September 26th, 2022 | 3 min. read

Joshua Witherspoon

Joshua Witherspoon

After serving as a Texas FFA state officer in 2018, Josh Witherspoon joined the iCEV team as a part-time employee for 3 years before taking on the role of content development specialist in 2022. Witherspoon holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural communications from Texas Tech University, in which his experience and proficiency in writing, marketing and CTE allow him to effectively communicate the successes of CTE educators and students and the value iCEV has to offer.

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The demand for high-quality CTE programs continues to rise as the need for skilled and knowledgeable employees increases each year across every industry. In keeping CTE programs high quality, the way in which today’s students are taught is of upmost importance in preparing them for a successful future career. In this blog iCEV explores the value of having well thought out pedagogy practices and shares types of pedagogy and strategies to help develop your pedagogical skills as a CTE educator.

What is Pedagogy?

Pedagogy, most commonly understood as the approach to teaching, is the theory and practice of educating. Pedagogy is determined based on an educator’s beliefs and students needs in terms of modes of instruction and teaching strategies. Shaped by the educator’s own experiences, pedagogy must take into consideration the context in which learning takes place, and with whom. It isn’t about the materials used, but the process, and the strategy adopted to lead to the achievement of meaningful learning.

Having a well-thought-out pedagogy can improve the quality of your teaching and the way students learn, helping them gain a deeper grasp of fundamental materials. Being mindful of the way you teach can help you better understand how to help students achieve deeper learning and lead to more cooperative learning environments. By using the proper approaches to instruction educators are able to move students from simple forms of thinking like memorization and comprehension to more complex thinking including evaluation and creation.

There are numerous approaches to pedagogy which aim to support learners through their academic and career preparation endeavors in your CTE classroom. The key is identifying which approaches align best with your unique students’ needs and what they are expected to execute in your class. Types of pedagogical approaches and strategies to incorporate into your pedagogy practices include:

Types of Pedagogy

Constructivist Pedagogy:

A theory of learning based on the idea that humans construct their own knowledge through direct experience, as opposed to being taught concepts in the abstract.

Collaborative Pedagogy:

Collaborative pedagogy is a learner-centered strategy that strives to maximize critical thinking, learning and writing skills through peer-to-peer interaction and interpersonal engagement.

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy:

Culturally responsive pedagogy is a student-centered approach to teaching in which the students' unique cultural strengths are identified and nurtured to promote student achievement.

Pedagogy Strategies

Inquiry-based Learning:

Inquiry-based learning encourages students to ask questions and complete research while learning various concepts.

Problem-based Learning:

In problem-based learning, students acquire knowledge by devising a solution to a real-world problem.

Socratic Method:

The Socratic method is a traditional pedagogy in which educators teach by asking a series of questions allowing students to learn through the use of critical thinking, reason and logic. 

Creating Your Own Pedagogy

To create your own pedagogy, start by forming a personal teaching philosophy statement including personal values as an educator, a description of teaching strategies and goals set for students. Sharing this statement with students helps students manage their expectations about your teaching methods and better approach learning under your instruction. When developing your pedagogy practices be mindful of the different educational experiences students will have during your course and how their preferred methods of learning can be factored into how instruction is delivered. Effective pedagogy practices allow students to gain a deeper understanding of subject matter by teachers and students working together to establish how learning will take place.

With a clear understanding of your pedagogy, students can follow your instruction and feedback clearly. They know what they need to do and how to do it and can respond confidently and openly when asked questions. This encourages engaging dialogue between educators and students as they share ideas, questions, and knowledge to explore concepts and deepen their knowledge.

Pedagogies are constantly evolving practices all educators should be aware of and consistently invest in. An effective pedagogy must fit your students’ needs and adapt curriculum to meet those needs in innovative and challenging ways for students. Every CTE educator’s pedagogy will be different. The key to ensuring your pedagogy is effective is knowing your students and your curriculum and aligning the needs of both factors to better engage students in impactful CTE learning experiences. To learn more about pedagogy or how to develop your own pedagogical practices, subscribe to our blog for weekly resources and strategies or follow us on our social channels.

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