Developing pedagogy: the curious case of Scotland

Paul Adams, Paul McMillan, Nicola Carse

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Across much of the Anglophone world, pedagogy is seen to be the 'methods and practices of teaching' and has spawned many differing interpretations such as subject-specific pedagogy, inclusive pedagogy, critical pedagogy, relational pedagogy, etc. Although many such terms direct attention to pedagogy as relational, it is also the case that many of these views stem from identification of what is as much as what is not. For example, 'Primary Pedagogy' describes as much the teaching of younger children as it does the 'not teaching' of this group. What ensues are debates about the appropriateness of one definition for pedagogy over another, and perhaps its colonisation of other spaces, rather than a consideration of ultimately, what education might be and what it is for. Questions can be asked as to whether, indeed, pedagogy should return to historic ideals of 'sitting together' and 'exploring together' in, with and for the world?

This symposium takes as its starting point the 'curious' case of Scotland. Situated between Nordic neighbours to the North, England to the south and Celtic neighbours to the West and across the Irish Sea, Scotland’s history can best be described as 'influenced'. Although its education system has been independent of the rest of the UK since 1885, it is fair to note that Anglophone (in this regard mostly English) matters have influenced Scottish educational policy and practice. Since 1999 and the re-opening of the Scottish Parliament while social policy across Scotland may have been 'Scottified' often by adopting perspectives and policies 'other' to England, Scottish education possibly bears greater resemblance to the rest of the UK than it does its Nordic Neighbours. This even though since 2007 the Scottish Government has sought to reference outwards to there and the Baltic States (Arnott and Ozga, 2009). Pedagogy is no exception here, and Scottish educational conversations in this vein often project discussions more akin to historic German traditions of Didaktik, both general and specific.

This symposium will explore pedagogy conceptually and theoretically, not in terms of the ways it might lead to 'methods and practice' but as rooted in possible ultimate goals for education. specifically, the three presentations will explore personal, academic pedagogic journeys for the ways in which understanding of the term has influenced research and teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2021
EventHope and Education: Nordic Educational Research Association Annual Congress - University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
Duration: 3 Nov 20215 Nov 2021


ConferenceHope and Education
Internet address


  • pedagogy
  • curriculum
  • Scottish education


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