# The difference between [teaching] and [education]

Update: is now a synonym of .

While I think that has a clear meaning, could refer to teaching (doing the educating) or being/getting educated. I'd suggest that the tag be renamed and that the questions tagged as should be retagged as or as appropriate. What do you think?

• You agree that teaching has a clear meaning and it appears that it is being used correctly. Why, then, should the teaching tag be changed? Looking at existing questions, there are 3 questions tagged education but not teaching. Does this issue really confuse anyone? – Larry Wang Aug 8 '10 at 12:50
• Because I think it's very likely that someone tagging a question as teaching question will also tag it education, whereas if they were to type either and see the suggested education-teaching, I'd expect it to encourage them to use the one "correct" tag. It's quite possible that I'm wrong about this, though. – Isaac Aug 8 '10 at 17:23
• I agree that this would help prevent people from tagging questions as both education and teaching. Can you provide an example of when this would be undesirable? – Larry Wang Aug 9 '10 at 2:35
• @Kaestur: If every question that was tagged with education that was about teaching also had the teaching tag, it wouldn't bother me, but having to sort through questions tagged education which cover two distinctly different meanings to get at questions on just one of those meanings mildly irritates me. That is, my issue with the education tag is that it's ambiguous (like algebra), and I'd rather resolve it into two clearer tags early on (like algebra-precalculus and abstract-algebra). – Isaac Aug 9 '10 at 6:46

Four years later, this still isn't resolved: we have separate tags (928 questions) and (392 questions). At first glance, they look different because would include learning as well as teaching. However, both tag wikis explicitly include teaching and learning:

Mathematics education consists in the practice of teaching and learning mathematics, along with the associated research. Research in mathematics education concerns the tools, methods and approaches that facilitate the practice of mathematics or the study of this practice.

Questions related to the teaching and learning of mathematics.

I see that the first also includes research in Mathematics Education; but such questions are actually rare on the site. They would be better asked at Mathematics Educators anyway.

I propose to

### Make teaching a synonym of education

Note that being a tag synonym is not the same as "synonymous" in ordinary language. Tag synonyms are not symmetric: rather, they mean that when a user tries to add tag A, tag B is added instead.

Also,

### Include a mention of Mathematics Educators in the tag wiki

For example: "Some such questions may get a better answer at Mathematics Educators".

"pedagogy" seems clearer than either teaching or education.

• I like "pedagogy." I hadn't thought of that, which makes me a little worried about discoverability, as Grigory M put it, but that could probably be taken care of by making "teaching" and/or "education-teaching" synonyms of "pedagogy." What about the learning aspect of education--suggestions for what to use for it? – Isaac Aug 8 '10 at 9:45
• As long as one principal tag is selected, retagging the "wrong guesses" by posters will have a synchronization effect, as anyone who sees or searches for words like teach, education will see queries with the pedagogy (or whatever the ultimate name) tag, and being subject-universal it would be one of the higher-ranked tags. Anyway, these tags are often added as edits after the original question, not by the new users, so as long as there is some convention it will be followed. – T.. Aug 8 '10 at 19:06

I am bumping this question to bring this discussion back to life. I am in favour of T.'s suggestion that and be synonym-merged into . Can people comment on whether that would be a desirable move?

• I think this is a good decision. – Eric Naslund Jul 28 '11 at 17:04
• I like this suggestion. Also [pedagogy] is a cooler tag than both [teaching] and [education]. – Asaf Karagila Jul 28 '11 at 17:13
• I'm not so sure that this is a good idea. [education] has quite a few requests concerning how to learn, e.g. math.stackexchange.com/questions/50209/whats-wrong-with-me, math.stackexchange.com/questions/49406/…, math.stackexchange.com/questions/734/…, math.stackexchange.com/questions/40973/… (just to give a few random ones) – t.b. Jul 28 '11 at 20:13
• @Theo: maybe the main tag should be education then? Because there are also a lot of other mixes of things under education. Perhaps we can just subsume teaching as part of it? – Willie Wong Jul 28 '11 at 20:44
• Well, on looking again, (education) seems to be a random collection of just about everything, while the (teaching) tag seems to be quite consistent. Also, I might be alone with this view, but I see (teaching) and (pedagogy) not exactly as the same thing. I think I prefer to have two separate tags (teaching) and (education). – t.b. Jul 28 '11 at 20:56
• As I'd said in the question, education is a mix of teaching and learning (or things like those), so I don't think it's suitable to relabel all education questions as pedagogy. I wouldn't entirely mind teaching being renamed to pedagogy, but I don't really see the point. – Isaac Jul 28 '11 at 23:26
• @Isaac Yeah (education) was the problem tag, and still is. – Mark Hurd Jun 24 '14 at 4:49
• @MarkHurd: was this question autobumped recently somehow? Please note that this discussion is 3 years old. – Willie Wong Jun 24 '14 at 10:19
• @WillieWong No, I just noticed I was "preferred" in both in the tag-future test feature. So it was a personal bump. – Mark Hurd Jun 25 '14 at 2:03

I'd suggests using teaching for... well, teaching and using education only in the second meaning. (But enforcing it will be quite a pain, I guess.)

Long tags like education-teaching lack discoverability — we'll have to explain each new user what does it mean.

• I don't think discoverability is an issue at all--with the two tags that I suggested, typing "teaching" into the tag field will bring up only "education-teaching" as a suggestion and typing "education" will bring up both "education-teaching" and "education-learning" (try, e.g., typing "algebra" in the tag field on the main site). – Isaac Aug 7 '10 at 19:30