Educational psychology, its importance, and goals

branch of psychology

Educational psychology is the study and interpretation of an individual’s behavior and analysis in educational settings. To ensure a correct understanding of the learning and teaching process, some psychologists defined it as a branch of psychology specializing in studying the learner’s behavior in different educational situations. As it is useful in providing teachers with important theoretical and practical information, principles, and experiences to understand the method of learning and teaching, and increasing its level and skills.

1. What is educational psychology?

Educational psychology is a branch of psychology whose subject of study concerns the forms in which human learning occurs in educational centers. Thus, educational psychology is concerned with everything about how students learn.

It is good to mention that educational psychology provides solutions to the development of study plans, educational management, educational models, and cognitive science in general.

Educational psychology focuses on the elements of the educational process and the processes of learning and education. We can also define educational psychology as a study and a scientific understanding of human behaviors that appear during the educational process. In addition to that, psychology means providing methods and treatment strategies to solve educational problems in general and the issues related to the educational field in particular.

2. The relationship of psychology to education

The responsibility of psychology in education is determined by finding appropriate methods and solutions that help the educational process achieve its goals, modify and direct it in a practical direction that serves its interest. Besides, to help understand the learner’s psychology and method of education, the application of scientific, methodological, and applied methods of education.

3. Educational psychology interests?

In today’s complex education system, school psychologists work with educators, administrators, teachers, and students to learn more about how they can intervene to help people learn better. This often involves finding ways to identify students who may need extra help, developing programs to help students with difficulties, and even creating new learning methods. Among the various subjects of interest to school psychologists, we find:

Educational technology: exploring how technology can help students

Educational design: designing new learning materials

Special education: to help students who need special education

Curriculum development: creating curricula

Organizational learning: the link between learning and the organizational context

The gifted learner: helping students identified as being gifted

4. The importance of educational psychology

A clear part of the definition is evident from the extent of the importance and necessity of educational psychology. As it is a science that is directly related to educational work for an important and sensitive age group. A child who faces difficulties in school may cause him to have weak educational attainment and awareness and reduce his interaction and activity. Educational psychology, addresses, dissolves, and eliminates the causes and effects of all these obstacles, and here lies the importance of this field and its centrality.

Educational psychology’s role is not limited to, discovering deficiencies and seeking to solve them. Instead goes beyond that to develop the capabilities of distinguished students and increases opportunities for developing their skills. Besides, educational psychology develops their linguistic and social intelligence. Stimulates their imagination and creativity, establishes their logical thinking, develops their communication tools from the arts of persuasion and dialogue, and feed their artistic talents, which will reflect the construction of their balanced personalities and high aspirations.

Related: The reasons behind the US education failure

5. Major perspectives in educational psychology

As in other areas of psychology, educational psychology researchers will tend to take different perspectives when examining a problem. Here are the major perspectives:

5.1 Behavioral perspective

This perspective suggests that all behaviors are learned by conditioning. Psychologists who adopt this perspective firmly rely on operant conditioning principles to explain how learning occurs.

5.2 The development perspective

This perspective emphasizes how children acquire new skills and knowledge during their development.

5.3 The cognitive perspective

This perspective has become much more common in recent decades, mainly because it explains how memories, beliefs, emotions, and motivations contribute to the learning process.

6. The goals of educational psychology

Different sciences generally seek to reach three main goals: understanding, forecasting, and controlling. Therefore, scientists strive to understand the phenomenon in question and the mechanism of its occurrence by trying to forecast the time and the reason that leads to its emergence in the future, then trying to control it. As it is the case in educational psychology, which seeks to understand behavioral phenomena related to the educational process, predict the occurrence of educational situations, and ultimately control them.

6.1 Understanding

A profound understanding of the educational phenomenon is one of the main goals of educational psychology, a good understanding of the educational phenomenon, the study of available variables, and search for relationships among them. In addition to the causes, motives, and motivations that will result from this phenomenon. All of this will contribute to the continuity of the success of the educational process, and its compatibility with different educational situations. That is to say, understanding students ‘behavior and meet their interim, mental, and psychological needs. Understanding the reasons behind each behavior issued in the educational environment, classifying them according to common mental factors, and provide teaching methods for each group according to their capabilities.

6.2 Forecasting

Forecasting is the expectation of a particular phenomenon happening at a specific time, based on the variables available before they occur. Thus, it studies the relationship between the variables and makes assumptions on their basis. In addition to forecasting their results, such as forecasting specializations that will be available to students according to their academic achievement in high school, a prediction in the field of educational psychology may not be inevitable. Still, it is an essential process in this field. It can contribute to solving many educational problems that occur in different circumstances. When the talented students are classified from ordinary students or from students with poor achievement, it is possible to forecast their needs, for example, gifted students need enrichment programs that satisfy their mental abilities, as joining them to educational programs, this will provide many behavioral issued resulting from the inadequacy of the educational material for this particular group of students.

6.3 Controlling

Control is some of the actions that the owner of the educational process takes towards some causal variables, studying the relationships between them, controlling them, controlling educational outputs and products according to what is required as possible, and completing the educational process successfully.

Originally published on Live Positively.