Educational Psychology consists of two words Psychology and Education. While General Psychology is a pure science, Educational Psychology is its application in the field of education with the aim of socializing man and modifying his behaviour. According to Crow and Crow, Educational Psychology describes and explains the learning experiences of an individual from birth through old age. Skinner defines Educational Psychology as ”that branch of Psychology which deals with teaching and learning”
Stephen–”Educational Psychology is the systematic study of the educational growth and development of a child.”
Judd –”Educational Psychology is the Science which explains the changes that take place in individuals as they pass through the various stages of development.”
Peel- ”Educational Psychology is the science of Education.”
Educational psychology is one of the branches of applied psychology concerned with the application of the principles, techniques and other resource of psychology to the solution of the problems confronting the teacher attempting to direct the growth of children toward defined objectives. More specifically, we can say educational psychology is concerned with an understanding of:
The child - his development, his need and his potentialities
The learning situation including group dynamics and its effect on learning
The learning process-its nature and the ways to make it effective. Stated differently, the Central theme of Educational Psychology is Psychology of learning.
PSYCHOLOGY OF LEARNING
This area is concerned with problems like: How do children acquire skills? When is learning more effective? What are the factors that help the learning process? How do we measure the amount of learning? Are there any economic methods of memorizing? Why do we forget? Can memory be improved? Does the study of Sanskrit help the study of Hindi?
Psychology helps the teacher to get answers to these questions. It tells us that learning becomes more effective if factors like motivation and interest are taken into consideration by every teacher. The knowledge of psychology has helped the teacher in modifying her approach to the teaching learning process.
The study of educational Psychology has brought about changes in the approaches to education and therefore we have child centred education. Psychological principles are used in formulation curriculum for different stages. Attempts are made to provide subjects and activities in the curriculum, which are in conformity with the needs of the students, their developmental characteristics, learning patterns, and also needs of the society.
NATURE OF EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
Following are the important characteristics of the nature of educational psychology:
o It is an applied branch of fundamental Psychology.
o It combines two fields i.e. education and psychology.
o It is the scientific study of human behaviour in educational situations.
o It is concerned with these factors, principles and techniques which relate to the various aspects of a child‘s growth and development.
o It is concerned with learning situation and process by which learning can be more efficient and effective.
o Educational Psychology, draws heavily from various branches of psychology, biology sociology and anthropology
o Educational Psychology is not as exact as natural sciences since the human behavior cannot be predicated exactly, because it is dynamic.
o Educational Psychology is a science of education dealing primarily with how, when and what of education.
o It is not a normative a science as it is not concerned with the value of education and does not concern itself with ‗What ought to be‘. It only describes what it is, it is an applied positive science.
o While psychology deals with the behaviour of all individuals in all walks of life, Educational Psychology limits its dealing with the behaviour of the pupil in relation to educational environment.
o It does not concern with the what and why of education. It gives the necessary knowledge and skill (Technical Guidance) for giving education to the pupil in a satisfactory way.
SCOPE OF EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
Five major areas covered by Educational Psychology are:
- The Learner
- The Learning Process
- The Learning Situation
- The Teaching Situation
- Evaluation of Learning Performance
- The Teacher
Educational Psychology acquaints us with need of knowing the learner and deals with the techniques of knowing him well. Following are the topics studies included in it:-the innate abilities and capabilities of the individual and their measurements, the overt, convert, conscious as well as unconscious behaviour of the learner, the characteristics of his growth and development at each stage beginning from childhood to adulthood.
The Learning Process
After knowing the learner and deciding what learning experiences are to be provided, the emerging problem is to help the learner in acquiring these learning experiences with ease and confidence.
Hence, it deals with the nature of learning and how it takes place and contains the topics such as laws, principles and theories of learning; remembering and forgetting, perceiving, concept formation, thinking, reasoning process, problem solving, transfer of training, ways and means of effective learning etc.
It also deals with the environment factors and learning situation which come midway between the learner and the teacher. Topics like classroom climate and group dynamics techniques and aids which facilitate learning, evaluation techniques, and practices, guidance and counseling etc. which help in the smooth functioning of the teaching learning process.
It suggests the techniques of teaching. It also helps in deciding what learning situation should be provided by the teacher to the learner according to his mental and physical age, his previous knowledge and interest levels. By describing the learner‘s characteristics, what teaching aids are appropriate for the particular subject can be decided.
Evaluation of Learning Performance
The main objective of education is all-round development of the learner. It includes cognitive, affective and psychomotor aspects of personality. Educational Psychology suggests various tool and techniques for assessment and evaluation such as performance test, oral test and written test. It does not stop at measurement only. After the testing, results of the test are analysed, causes for poor performance, backwardness in any aspect of development is corrected by guidance and counselling in study habits, examination techniques and learning styles. These are analysed and the learner is helped so that he can overcome the difficulties.
Educational Psychology emphasizes the need of knowing the self for a teacher to play his role properly in the process of education. It throws light on the essential personality traits, interests, aptitudes, the characteristics of effective teaching etc., so as to inspire, help teacher handle the stress, conflict and anxiety by giving insight into their own personality.
FUNCTIONS OF EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
Ø to provide a thorough knowledge of the nature of the child
Ø to provide an understanding of the nature, aims and purposes of education.
Ø to acquire familiarity with the technical vocabulary and to further an understanding and an appreciation of the scientific procedures by which the data of educational psychology are obtained
Ø to provide a significant knowledge of developmental process with particular emphasis upon the promotion, guidance and control of mental and moral aspects.
Ø to provide an understanding of the principles governing learning, together with knowledge of the techniques for guiding improvement in learning and their application to the practical problems in the classroom.
Ø to present the theories underlying the measurement and evaluation of mental abilities, aptitudes, achievements, interest and personality organization.
Ø to present the principles and conclusions regarding the prevention of all types of maladjustments together with the approved practices for achieving satisfactory adjustments
Ø the “Culminating Function” - to inculcate in the prospective teacher the realization that the most essential purpose of teaching is that the student learn.