Educational psychology is the study of learning methods, it includes teaching methods, instructional processes, and individual differences in learning. It investigates the behavioral, cognitive emotional, social and influence on learning. Educational psychologists utilize this understanding of how individuals learn to design strategies to help students be successful in school.
Educational psychology professionals are mainly concerned with how people learn and absorb information. They analyze different theories of educational development and teaching methods in a classroom.
Teachers work hand in hand with educational psychologists to ensure good educational practices for the student’s benefit, they also help out with students whose learning is deteriorated.
Theories in Educational Psychology
There are several theories associated with how people learn.
In 1913, the behavioral theory of education was developed by John Watson. The theory implies that people are born with essentially blank minds, and people behave according to their surrounding environment. Behavioral theory has more to deal with how individuals learn than inherited knowledge.
Behavioral theory changes behavior using the rewards and punishment systems. for instance, if a teacher gives a reward to a student for learning a particular thing, other students would want to be gifted so they also put in the work to learn.
Despite being useful in some cases, it has also failed in some like attitude and emotions.
This theory was put in place by Psychologist Jean Piaget. This explains that people learn alongside growth and development. it deals with nature’s works in getting people mature. The understanding of how children reason as they grow from one stage into another, helps education psychologists to help children develop better.
Cognitivism deals with people developing what they already know. It emphasizes memory and organization, how beliefs, and emotions engineer the learning process. People tend to learn to follow what inspires them. Cognitive psychology focuses on understanding people’s thinking, learning, and retentive ability.
Educational psychologists are focused on understanding what motivates kids, and how they recall things to help them better.
Psychologist Lev Vygotsky developed the constructivist theory. This has to do with how students’ learning journey helps them in gaining knowledge and improve. It is highly focused on reality and critical problem-solving skills.
The people who follow the constructivist view think that what one already knows has the greatest factor in how one absorbs new information. This means that any new information cannot be added to and comprehended as a result of knowledge already in place.
Like cognitive and constructive perspectives, this has to deal with how feelings, thoughts, and experiences affect one’s growth and how one understands and accepts information. This method gives room for one to value what they have learned other than feeling it is irrelevant.
Topics in Educational Psychology
Topics of study in educational psychology include;
- Educational technology: Focuses on discovering various types of technology that can aid the student’s learning process.
- Instructional design: This involves the designing of study materials that can be of high importance to students
- Special education: This major on assisting students who need specialized instruction
- Curriculum development: This involves the creation of curriculums, and courses that will improve learning in students.
- Organizational learning: Deals with the study of the peoples learning process in organizational settings like workplaces
- Gifted learners: This aims at helping students who are considered to be gifted learners
Careers in Educational Psychology
There is a lot one can do with a degree in educational psychology, they include;
They study people’s learning process, they mostly work in schools but can also act as counselors and researchers. They earn an average salary of $81,040. The job is projected to grow by 6% from 2021 to 2031
They deal with the analysis of academic departments to make sure they are using the required curriculum. They have an average salary of over $67,000.
They work with the development of schemes that would assist schools in addressing students’ behaviors. They act as counselors in schools. they earn an average salary of $78,780 annually and have a projected growth of 6% plus from, 2021 to 2031
College and school counselors are employed in schools and colleges to guide students on their academic paths. Counselors help students in choosing their majors and career choices. they earn a Median Annual Salary of $60,510. they have 10% plus projected growth.
Educational psychology provides valuable insight into how individuals learn. It plays a significant role in the development of teaching strategies and strategies used in education. Alongside examining the process of learning the various fields of psychology for education study emotional as well as social factors that affect how learners learn.
If you’re interested in subjects such as curriculum design, special education, and educational technology you should explore a career in the field of educational psychology.