Educational psychology, theoretical and research branch of modern psychology, concerned with the learning processes and psychological problems associated with the teaching and training of students.
The educational psychologist studies the cognitive development of students and the various factors involved in learning, including aptitude and learning measurement, the creative process, and the motivational forces that influence dynamics between students and teachers. Educational psychology is a partly experimental and partly applied branch of psychology, concerned with the optimization of learning. It differs from school psychology, which is an applied field that deals largely with problems in elementary and secondary school systems.
Scope of Educational Psychology
The scope of Educational Psychology is securing greater and greater importance in the field of education. Educational psychology is the combination of two i.e. Educational and Psychology. So educational psychology is the study of behavior of the teacher, taught and persons connected to educational environment.
Educational psychology is, therefore, that branch of educational content, which deals with human behavior and its modification.
The following are included in the scope of Educational Psychology.
(1) Human Behavior:
It studies human behavior in educational situations. Psychology is the study of behavior and education deals with the modification of behavior and hence, educational psychology pervades in whole field of education.
(2) Growth and Development:
It studies growth and development of the child. How a child passes through various stages of growth and what are the characteristics of each stage are included in the study of Educational Psychology.
(3) Learning Process:
It studies the law of learning: learning is a major phenomenon in education. It studies how learning can take place most effectively and economically.
(4) Heredity and Environment:
To what extent heredity and environment contribute towards the growth of the individual and how this knowledge can be used for bringing about the optimum development of the child, form a salient feature of the scope of Educational Psychology.
Educational Psychology deals with the nature and development of the personality of an individual. In fact, education has been defined as an all-round development of the personality of an individual; personality development also implies a well-adjusted personality.
(6) Individual Difference:
Every individual differs from another and it is one of the fundamental facts of human nature, which has been brought to light by Educational Psychology. This one fact has revolutionized the concept and process of education.
(7) Intelligence and its Measurement:
The scope of Educational Psychology includes the study of the nature of intelligence as well as its measurement. This is of great importance for a teacher or an educator.
(8) Guidance and Counseling:
This is one of the most important fields or areas of study included in the field of Educational Psychology. Education is nothing but providing guidance to the growing child. Thus, guidance forms an important aspect of Educational Psychology.
The following five areas were named by American Psychological Associations:
(1) Human growth and development, including the effect of heredity and environment on various aspects of individual,
(2) Learning: The nature of learning process, factors influencing the learning process etc.,
(3) Personality and adjustment: It include many sub-topics, such as, mental health of the students and teachers character,
(4) Measurement and evaluation, statistics,
(5) Techniques and methods of Educational Psychology.
Thus, Educational Psychology describes and explains the learning experience of an individual from birth to old age. Its subject matter is concerned with the conditions that affect learning.
What Does an Educational Psychologist Do?
An educational psychologist will conduct research and studies that are relevant to education. They may conduct research on how well people learn in certain settings or with a certain type of instruction. With this research, they can then try to develop new and improved teaching techniques and learning methods in order to help those that are struggling with their education.
Another common duty of an educational psychologist is to evaluate and analyze certain teaching methods, testing methods, and educational programs. Studying these areas of education allows the psychologist to gain insight into any flaws or problems that may make it difficult for some people to learn.
Along with evaluating existing educational resources, an educational psychologist might also create and develop new ones, which make it easier for certain groups of people to learn. These resources might include textbooks, worksheets, lesson plans, tests, and instructional videos.
Many educational psychologists will specialize in the educational developments of a certain group of people. Some might focus of the education of children, for instance, while others might focus on adult learners. It is also not uncommon for an educational psychologist to focus on a particular type of learning problem or disability, such as dyslexia.
Skills and Competencie needed in Educational Psychology
Key skills for educational psychologists
- The ability to relate to children and young adults
- Ability to cope with emotional situations
- Excellent listening
- Observational skills
- Verbal communication skills
- Empathy and rapport
Career Opportunities and Job Prospects in Educational Psychology
- College Professor
- College Counselor
- School Psychologist (Elementary, Middle and High School)
- Educational Psychologist
- Educational Researcher
Admission Requirements for the study of Educational Psychology in Nigeria
Subject Combination / JAMB UTME Requirements
In UTME, please note that English Language is Compulsory for this course. Therefore, the three (3) other JAMB UTME subject combination needed to study Educational Psychology under the Faculty of Education in the above Universities include;
The subject of specialization and one each from Arts and Social Science or Arts and Science or Social Sciences & Sciences.
The O'level subject combination and requirements needed to study Educational / Psychology, Guidance and Counseling;
You require; Five SSCE credit passes in five subjects including English Language and Mathematics.