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"scientific study of the soil," 1924, from Greek pedon "ground, earth," from PIE root *ped- (see foot (n.)) + -logy. Related: Pedological. Earlier it was a word for "the study of children" (1894), from pedo-.
pedology pe·dol·o·gy (pē-dŏl'ə-jē)n. The study of the physical, mental, and social development and characteristics of children.