The field of study known as educational psychology, or the study of education, is concerned with comprehending how people learn and how various learning environments affect them. To improve educational practices for kids, adults, and persons with special learning needs, experts in the field research the cognitive, behavioral, developmental, social, and emotional elements that affect learning.
Although programs in educational psychology can typically be found in university departments of education, educational psychology is strongly tied to the science of psychology. Neuroscience and educational psychology are related, and social science concepts have been incorporated into current theories.
Courses in educational psychology look for ways to improve educational activities using techniques like testing and measurement. Topics including instructional design, human development, classroom management, assessment, and assistive learning technologies are studied in curricula for different types of pupils.
Researchers in the field of educational psychology may concentrate on one or more areas of study, including fundamental developmental processes, parenting, social networks, the emergence of aggressiveness, emotional and academic self-regulation, play interests, creativity, gerontology, and more.
History of Educational Psychology
Educational psychology is a branch of psychology that is still undergoing major development. Education philosophers were largely responsible for the early interest in educational psychology because psychology did not become a separate discipline until the late 1800s.
The philosopher Johann Herbart is often regarded as the father of educational psychology.
Herbart believed that a student’s level of interest in a subject had a big influence on how well they learned. He believed that educators should consider this while determining the optimum type of instruction.
Later, the philosopher and psychologist William James made significant contributions to the topic. His 1899 publication “Talks to Teachers on Psychology” is recognized as the first textbook on educational psychology. French psychologist Alfred Binet was developing his renowned IQ tests at the same period. The examinations were initially developed by the French government to help identify kids who had developmental impairments and design special education programs.
John Dewey had a significant influence on American education. Progressive Dewey believed that academic content should not take precedence in the classroom above the needs of the pupils. He advocated for active learning and emphasized the need for practical application.
A taxonomy that was developed more recently by educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom is essential for categorizing and outlining different educational objectives. The three top-level learning domains he listed were cognitive, emotive, and psychomotor.
Careers in Educational Psychology
Graduates in educational psychology may work in businesses, foundations, public schools, state and federal agencies of education, and the military, as researchers, consultants, instructional software developers, test developers, educational program managers, and other professions.
To determine how to effectively support kids’ learning, educational psychologists collaborate with educators, administrators, teachers, and students. This frequently entails figuring out how to spot pupils who might need extra assistance, devising programs for children who are having trouble, and even coming up with novel teaching techniques.
Many educational psychologists have direct contact with schools. Some are professors or teachers, while others collaborate with teachers to create new course curricula and test out novel teaching strategies for their students. An educational psychologist might even train to be a counselor, personally assisting pupils in overcoming obstacles to learning.
Research is done by other educational psychologists. For instance, they might be employed by a government agency like the U.S. Department of Education, influencing choices regarding the most effective ways for children to learn in classrooms across the country.
An educational psychologist may also work in university or school administration. They can have an impact on educational practices in all of these capacities and support students in learning in a way that works best for them. For jobs in this sector, a bachelor’s and master’s degree are often needed; if you wish to work at a university or in school administration, you could also need a Ph.D.
Topics in Educational Psychology
Educational psychologists go deep to comprehend the learning process, from the resources teachers employ to the unique requirements of children. The following are some of the areas of study in educational psychology:
- Educational technology: Examining the educational benefits of various forms of technology for pupils
- Instructional design: Creating instructional materials that work
- Special education: Assisting students that might require specific training
- Curriculum development: Coursework should be designed to optimize learning
- Organizational learning: Studying how individuals learn in workplaces and other organizational contexts
- Gifted learners: Assisting pupils who have been labeled as talented.