The 6 People Who Taught Us How To Teach

Educators today often use a variety of pedagogical styles. Some are old, some are new(er), and some folks are out there innovating and trying new stuff of their own creation. While most teachers out there are probably piecing together a little bit of something with a touch of something else – different strokes for different folks, right? – There are some folks out there that we have to thank for some of the more common concrete pedagogical styles.

So who are these folks? Many of us are familiar with the pedagogical concepts, but the people behind them are often less well-known. Take a look at the handy infographic below – it highlights six individuals that have made major contributions to what we modern folks know as pedagogy. Keep reading to learn more.

The People of Pedagogy

You’ve probably heard of their work, but you may not know about the person behind the pedagogy. Here’s a quick bit of information on six contributors to pedagogy.

Lev Vygotsky

The Zone of Proximal Development distinguishes what a learner can do with and without help, eventually leading to the notion of scaffolding.

Jean Piaget

The Theory Of Cognitive Development articulates the mind’s typical stages of growth. It helps to understand student’s perspectives and understand what is needed to advance their learning.

Jerome Bruner

Bruner coined the term ‘scaffolding‘ as he conducted cognitive and developmental studies in psychology. Understanding how the mind works helps guide instructional design.

Benjamin Bloom

Although he didn’t create the now-famous Bloom’s Taxonomy, he did the vital work of studying and classifying stages in pursuit of mastery learning.

Howard Gardner

Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences describes various forms of mental capacity (not to be confused with the ever-polarizing topic of learning styles!). Its a framework that describes patterns of how information is processed (not how it is initially acquired).

Erik Erikson

Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development serves as a roadmap of the eight stages a typical person follows as they develop. These stages give insight into student’s driving impulses at each stage of their education.

people of pedagogy


  1. Motlatjo Maaga

    February 13, 2014 at 1:09 am

    I liked the way you explained the methods of teaching and learning. the assessment methods were of great assistance because most of us in the medical and dental fields lecture without education background. I am good though,from the students’ perspective. now I know what to look for when structuring the assessments starting with the first test in March 2014. thank you very much for the information. It fell on a good ground!!!

  2. Luke Kahlich

    February 13, 2014 at 9:34 am

    The chosen 6 are certainly stellar in the field, but I am quite amazed that John Dewey was left out. I realize that if we had followed his humanistic perspective, we would not have a much admired industrial model of education, but his influence in the field is wide and deep.

  3. Joe Beckmann

    February 13, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Dewey for sure, but also Montessori. The six are remarkably rich in formulae, but the basic reason for those formulae – individual development of each child – should also embrace William James and goes back to the Greeks…. Don’t be so limited in sources, or you’ll just become a finger exercise – as long as it’s not a voice activated blog….