What does pedagog mean and Where does the word “pedagog” come from?

In the Grecian family there was one slave, especially selected for his prudence, whose duty it was to attend the sons of the family during boyhood.

One of these duties was to accompany his charges when they went upon the public roads, to and from the gymnasium, or elsewhere.

From the nature of his duties such a slave was known, in Greek, as a paidagogos, literally a leader of boys, from pais, boy, and agogos, leader.

Sometimes the pedagog, as the term became in English, was himself a man of high learning, unfortunate enough to have been captured in warfare and subsequently sold as a slave.

In such instances he also served as a tutor to the boys of the family. It is from the latter that the term “pedagog” has come to signify a schoolteacher.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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