This article provides a short note on Educational Psychology:- 1. Meaning of Educational Psychology 2. Nature of Educational Psychology 3. Scope.
Meaning of Educational Psychology:
Educational psychology is that branch of psychology which deals with the application of psychological findings in the field of education. In other words it deals with the human behaviour in educational situations. It is the systematic study of the development of the individual in the educational settings.
It is the scientific study of human behaviour by which it can be understood, predicated and directed by education to achieve goals of life. Trow describes, “Educational psychology is the study of psychological aspects of educational situations”. Stephens says, “Educational psychology is the study of educational growth and development”.
Judd describes educational psychology as, “a scientific study of the life stages in the development of an individual from the time he is born until he becomes an adult.” Chales E. Skinner defines, “Educational psychology is the branch of psychology which deals with teaching and learning”.
So educational psychology aims at studying the peculiar problems and situations arising in educational situations. It helps a teacher to understand his pupils and make educative efforts for solving different educational problems.
Nature of Educational Psychology:
The nature of educational psychology is as follows:
i. Applied science:
Educational psychology is an applied science. It applies psychological principles in the field of education. It is applied to study the behaviour of the learner in educational situations.
ii. Social science:
Educational psychology is a social science as it studies human beings and their adjustments in the society.
iii. Positive science:
Educational psychology is a science in the sense that it uses all the methods of science for data collection, analysis and interpretation of data. Educational psychology aims at understanding, predicting and controlling human behaviour in a systematic way. As it employs all the methods of science, it is called as a positive science.
iv. Growing science:
Educational psychology is a growing or developing science. New research findings add an insight to study the child’s nature in the field of education. It is a continuously growing discipline day by day. Educational psychology is not a normative science like logic or ethics because it deals with facts as they are. It studies the child’s nature as they are and as they perform in different conditions.
Scope of Educational Psychology:
The scope of educational psychology is very wide. Its influence is clearly felt on education. Educational psychology is deeply concerned with the determination of principles of mental development, general nature of learning, individual and social adjustment of man, method of guidance, measurement, psychological theory of teaching, mental ability, individual differences and solutions of problems of education.
Educational philosophy is primarily concerned with the questions of what should be done in schools, educational psychology attempts to answer the questions of how it can be done. Educational psychologists are mainly concerned with ‘what to teach’, ‘when to teach’ and ‘how to teach’.
Lindgren points out that educational psychology covers three main factors like the learner, the learning process and the learning situation. The teacher has to be familiar with all these three factors.
The teacher has to deal with the learner. His first task has to be the child or the learner not the content. In order to help the child for learning, he must understand he growth and development of the child at different stages of development.
He most understand how the child’s mind works. In the light of this, he will able to utilize certain psychological laws and principles for the growth of the child in different aspects like physical, mental, emotional, social, moral etc.
The Learning process:
Educational psychology explains how learning process goes on in an individual. It also explains why an individual does not show any progress in learning the assigned task.
It also tells the various processes of learning, factors affecting learning, methods of effective learning, forms of learning, laws, theories and principles of leaning, techniques of motivation, transfer of learning etc. It is needless to remarks that the teacher cannot do without the study of psychology.
The Learning situation:
The teacher has to take into consideration the situation in which the learning takes place. The situations like the school, the environment in the class room, the various types of the learners in the classroom, the objective to be achieved by the teacher, the desire of the parents, the demand and expectations of the society etc. should be taken into consideration.
Educational psychology acquaints the teacher with all these iterations.