Educational psychology

Educational Psychology is the scientific study
of human learning. The study of learning processes, both cognitive
and affective, allows researchers to understand individual differences in behavior, personality,
intellect, and self-concept. The field of educational psychology heavily
relies on testing, measurement, assessment, evaluation, and training to enhance educational
activities and learning processes. This can involve studying instructional processes
within the classroom setting. Educational psychology can in part be understood
through its relationship with other disciplines. It is informed primarily by psychology, bearing
a relationship to that discipline analogous to the relationship between medicine and biology. It is also informed by neuroscience. Educational psychology in turn informs a wide
range of specialities within educational studies, including instructional design, educational
technology, curriculum development, organizational learning, special education and classroom
management. Educational psychology both draws from and
contributes to cognitive science and the learning sciences. In universities, departments of educational
psychology are usually housed within faculties of education, possibly accounting for the
lack of representation of educational psychology content in introductory psychology textbooks. The field of educational psychology involves
the study of memory, conceptual processes, and individual differences in conceptualizing
new strategies for learning processes in humans. Educational psychology has been built upon
theories of Operant conditioning, functionalism, structuralism, constructivism, humanistic
psychology, Gestalt psychology, and information processing. Educational Psychology has seen rapid growth
and development as a profession in the last twenty years. School psychology began with the concept of
intelligence testing leading to provisions for special education students, whom could
not follow the regular classroom curriculum in the early part of the 20th century. However, “School Psychology” itself has built
a fairly new profession based upon the practices and theories of several psychologists among
many different fields. Educational Psychologists are working side
by side with psychiatrists, social workers, teachers, speech and language therapists,
and counselors in attempt to understand the questions being raised when combining behavioral,
cognitive, and social psychology in the classroom setting. History
Early years Educational Psychology is a fairly new and
growing field of study. Though it can date back as early as the days
of Plato and Aristotle, it was not identified as a specific practice. It was unknown that everyday teaching and
learning in which individuals had to think about individual differences, assessment,
development, the nature of a subject being taught, problem solving, and transfer of learning
was the beginning to the field of educational psychology. These topics are important to education and
as a result it is important to understanding human cognition, learning, and social perception. Plato and Aristotle
Educational psychology dates back to the time of Aristotle and Plato. Plato and Aristotle researched individual
differences in the field of education, training of the body and the cultivation of psycho-motor
skills, the formation of good character, the possibilities and limits of moral education. Some other educational topics they spoke about
were the effects of music, poetry, and the other arts on the development of individual,
role of teacher, and the relations between teacher and student. Plato saw knowledge as an innate ability,
which evolves through experience and understanding of the world. Such a statement has evolved into a continuing
argument of nature vs. nurture in understanding conditioning and learning today. Aristotle observed the phenomenon of “association.” His four laws of association included succession,
contiguity, similarity, and contrast. His studies examined recall and facilitated
learning processes John Locke
John Locke followed by contrasting Plato’s theory of innate learning processes. Rather, he introduced the term “tabula rasa”
meaning “blank slate.” Locke explained that learning was primarily
understood through experience only, and we were all born without knowledge. Locke introduced this idea as “empiricism,”
or the understanding that knowledge is only built on knowledge and experience. Before 1890
Philosophers of education such as Juan Vives, Johann Pestalozzi, Friedrich Fröbel, and
Johann Herbart had examined, classified and judged the methods of education centuries
before the beginnings of psychology in the late 1800s. Juan Vives
Juan Vives proposed induction as the method of study and believed in the direct observation
and investigation of the study of nature. His studies focus of humanistic learning,
which opposed scholasticism and was influenced by a variety of sources including philosophy,
psychology, politics,religion, and history. He was one of the first to emphasize that
the location of the school is important to learning. He suggested that the school should be located
away from disturbing noises; the air quality should be good and there should be plenty
of food for the students and teachers. Vives emphasized the importance of understanding
individual differences of the students and suggested practice as an important tool for
learning. Vives introduced his educational ideas in
his writing, “De anima et vita” in 1538. In this publication, Vives explores moral
philosophy as a setting for his educational ideals; with this, he explains that the different
parts of the soul are each responsible for different operations, which function distinctively. The first book covers the different “souls”:
“The Vegatative Soul;” this is the soul of nutrition, growth, and reproduction, “The
Sensitive Soul,” which involves the five external senses; “The Cogitative soul,” which includes
internal senses and cognitive facilities. The second book involves functions of the
rational soul: mind, will, and memory. Lastly, the third book explains the analysis
of emotions. Johann Pestalozzi
Johann Pestalozzi, a German educational reformer, emphasized the child rather than the content
of the school. Pestalozzi fostered an educational reform
backed by the idea that early education was crucial for children, and could be manageable
for mothers. Eventually, this experience with early education
would lead to a “wholesome person characterized by morality” Pestalozzi has been acknowledged
for opening institutions for education, writing books for mother’s teaching home education,
and elementary books for students, mostly focusing on the kindergarten level. In his later years, he published teaching
manuals and methods of teaching. During the time of The Enlightenment, Pestalozzi’s
ideals introduced “educationalisation.” This created the bridge between social issues
and education by introducing the idea of social issues to be solved through education. Horlacher describes the most prominent example
of this during The Enlightenment to be “improving agricultural production methods.” Johann Herbart
Johann Herbart is considered the father of educational psychology. He believed that learning was influenced by
interest in the subject and the teacher. He thought that teachers should consider the
students existing mental sets, what they already know, when presenting new information or material. Herbart came up with what is now known as
the formal steps. The 5 steps that teachers should use are:
Review material that has already been learned by the teacher
Prepare the student for new material by giving them an overview of what they are learning
next Present the new material. Relate the new material to the old material
that has already been learned. Show how the student can apply the new material
and show the material they will learn next. 1890–1920
William James The period of 1890–1920 is considered the
golden era of educational psychology where aspirations of the new discipline rested on
the application of the scientific methods of observation and experimentation to educational
problems. From 1840 to 1920 37 million people immigrated
to the United States. This created an expansion of elementary schools
and secondary schools. The increase in immigration also provided
educational psychologists the opportunity to use intelligence testing to screen immigrants
at Ellis Island. Darwinism influenced the beliefs of the prominent
educational psychologists. Even in the earliest years of the discipline,
educational psychologists recognized the limitations of this new approach. The pioneering American psychologist William
James commented that: Psychology is a science, and teaching is an
art; and sciences never generate arts directly out of themselves. An intermediate inventive mind must make that
application, by using its originality”. James is the father of psychology in America
but he also made contributions to educational psychology. In his famous series of lectures Talks to
Teachers on Psychology, published in 1899 and now regarded as the first educational
psychology textbook, James defines education as “the organization of acquired habits of
conduct and tendencies to behavior”. He states that teachers should “train the
pupil to behavior” so that he fits into the social and physical world. Teachers should also realize the importance
of habit and instinct. They should present information that is clear
and interesting and relate this new information and material to things the student already
knows about. He also addresses important issues such as
attention, memory, and association of ideas. Alfred Binet
Alfred Binet published Mental Fatigue in 1898, in which he attempted to apply the experimental
method to educational psychology. In this experimental method he advocated for
two types of experiments, experiments done in the lab and experiments done in the classroom. In 1904 he was appointed the Minister of Public
Education. This is when he began to look for a way to
distinguish children with developmental disabilities. Binet strongly supported special education
programs because he believed that “abnormality” could be cured. The Binet-Simon test was the first intelligence
test and was the first to distinguish between “normal children” and those with developmental
disabilities. Binet believed that it was important to study
individual differences between age groups and children of the same age. He also believed that it was important for
teachers to take into account individual students strengths and also the needs of the classroom
as a whole when teaching and creating a good learning environment. He also believed that it was important to
train teachers in observation so that they would be able to see individual differences
among children and adjust the curriculum to the students. Binet also emphasized that practice of material
was important. In 1916 Lewis Terman revised the Binet-Simon
so that the average score was always 100. The test became known as the Stanford-Binet
and was one of the most widely used tests of intelligence. Terman, unlike Binet, was interested in using
intelligence test to identify gifted children who had high intelligence. In his longitudinal study of gifted children,
who became known as the Termites, Terman found that gifted children become gifted adults. Edward Thorndike
Edward Thorndike supported the scientific movement in education. He based teaching practices on empirical evidence
and measurement. Thorndike developed the theory of instrumental
conditioning or the law of effect. The law of effect states that associations
are strengthened when it is followed by something pleasing and associations are weakened when
followed by something not pleasing. He also found that learning is done a little
at a time or in increments, learning is an automatic process and all the principles of
learning apply to all mammals. Thorndike’s research with Robert Woodworth
on the theory of transfer found that learning one subject will only influence your ability
to learn another subject if the subjects are similar. This discovery led to less emphasis on learning
the classics because they found that studying the classics does not contribute to overall
general intelligence. Thorndike was one of the first to say that
individual differences in cognitive tasks were due to how many stimulus response patterns
a person had rather than a general intellectual ability. He contributed word dictionaries that were
scientifically based to determine the words and definitions used. The dictionaries were the first to take into
consideration the users maturity level. He also integrated pictures and easier pronunciation
guide into each of the definitions. Thorndike contributed arithmetic books based
on learning theory. He made all the problems more realistic and
relevant to what was being studied, not just to improve the general intelligence. He developed tests that were standardized
to measure performance in school related subjects. His biggest contribution to testing was the
CAVD intelligence test which used a multidimensional approach to intelligence and the first to
use a ratio scale. His later work was on programmed instruction,
mastery learning and computer-based learning: If, by a miracle of mechanical ingenuity,
a book could be so arranged that only to him who had done what was directed on page one
would page two become visible, and so on, much that now requires personal instruction
could be managed by print. John Dewey
John Dewey had a major influence on the development of progressive education in the United States. He believed that the classroom should prepare
children to be good citizens and facilitate creative intelligence. He pushed for the creation of practical class
that could be applied outside of a school setting. He also thought that education should be student-oriented
not subject-oriented. For Dewey education was social that helped
bring together generations of people. He states that students learn by doing. He believed in an active mind that was able
to be educated through observation and problem solving and inquiry. In his 1910 book How We Think he emphasizes
that material should be provided in way that is stimulating and interesting to the student
and it encourages original thoughts and problem solving. He also stated that material should be relative
to the student’s own experience. “The material furnished by way of information
should be relevant to a question that is vital in the students own experience” Jean Piaget
Jean Piaget developed the theory of cognitive development. The theory stated that intelligence developed
in four different stages. The stages are the sensorimotor stage from
birth to 2 years old, the preoperational state from 2 years old to 7 years old, the concrete
operational stage from 7 years old to 10 years old, and formal operational stage from 11
years old and up. He also believed that learning was constrained
to the child’s cognitive development. Piaget influenced educational psychology because
he was the first to believe that cognitive development was important and something that
should be paid attention to in education. Most of the research on Piagetian theory was
mainly tested and done by American educational psychologists
1920-present The amount of people receiving a high school
and college education increased dramatically from 1920 to 1960. Because of very little jobs available to the
teens coming out of eighth grade there was an increase in high school attendance in the
1930s . The progressive movement in the United State took off at this time and led to the
idea of progressive education. John Flanagan, an educational psychologist,
developed tests for combat trainees and instructions in combat training. In 1954 the work of Kenneth Clark and his
wife on the effects of segregation on black and white children was influential in the
Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education. From the 1960s to present day educational
psychology has switched from a behaviorist perspective to a more cognitive based perspective
because of the influence and development of cognitive psychology at this time. Jerome Bruner
Jerome Bruner is notable for integrating Jean Piaget’s cognitive approaches into educational
psychology. He advocated for discovery learning where
teachers create a problem solving environment that allows the student to question, explore
and experiment. In his book The Process of Education Bruner
stated that the structure of the material and the cognitive abilities of the person
are important in learning. He emphasized the importance of the subject
matter. He also believed that how the subject was
structured was important for the students understanding of the subject and it is the
goal of the teacher to structure the subject in a way that was easy for the student to
understand. In the early 1960s Bruner went to Africa to
teach math and science to schoolchildren, which influenced his view as schooling as
a cultural institution. Bruner was also influential in the development
of MACOS, Man a Course of Study, which was an educational program that combined anthropology
and science. The program explored human evolution and social
behavior. He also helped with the development of the
head start program. He was interested in the influence of culture
on education and looked at the impact of poverty on educational development. Benjamin Bloom
Benjamin Bloom spent over 50 years at the University of Chicago where he worked in the
department of education. He believed that all students can learn. He developed taxonomy of educational objectives. The objectives were divided into three domains:
cognitive, affective, and psychomotor. The cognitive domain deals with how we think. It is divided into categories that are on
a continuum from easiest to more complex. The categories are knowledge or recall, comprehension
application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. The affective domain deals with emotions and
has 5 categories. The categories are receiving phenomenon, responding
to that phenomenon, valuing, organization, and internalizing values. The psychomotor domain deals with the development
of motor skills, movement and coordination and has 7 categories, that also goes from
simplest to complex. The 7 categories of the psychomotor domain
are perception, set, guided response, mechanism, complex overt response, adaptation, and origination. The taxonomy provided broad educational objectives
that could be used to help expand the curriculum to match the ideas in the taxonomy. The taxonomy is considered to have a greater
influence internationally than in the United States. Internationally, the taxonomy is used in every
aspect of education from training of the teachers to the development of testing material. Bloom believed in communicating clear learning
goals and promoting an active student. He thought that teachers should provide feedback
to the students on their strengths and weaknesses. Bloom also did research on college students
and their problem solving processes. He found that they differ in understanding
the basis of the problem and the ideas in the problem. He also found that students differ in process
of problem solving in their approach and attitude toward the problem. Nathaniel Gage
Nathaniel Gage is important in educational psychology because he did research to improve
teaching and understand the processes involved in teaching. In 1963 he was the editor of the Handbook
of Research on Teaching, which became an influential book in educational psychology. The handbook helped set up research on teaching
and made research on teaching important to educational psychology. He also was influential in the founding of
the Stanford Center for Research and Development in teaching, which not only contributed important
research on teaching but also influenced the teaching of important educational psychologists. Perspectives
Cognitive Each person has an individual profile of characteristics,
abilities and challenges that result from predisposition, learning and development. These manifest as individual differences in
intelligence, creativity, cognitive style, motivation and the capacity to process information,
communicate, and relate to others. The most prevalent disabilities found among
school age children are attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disability,
dyslexia, and speech disorder. Less common disabilities include intellectual
disability, hearing impairment, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and blindness. Although theories of intelligence have been
discussed by philosophers since Plato, intelligence testing is an invention of educational psychology,
and is coincident with the development of that discipline. Continuing debates about the nature of intelligence
revolve on whether intelligence can be characterized by a single factor known as general intelligence,
multiple factors, or whether it can be measured at all. In practice, standardized instruments such
as the Stanford-Binet IQ test and the WISC are widely used in economically developed
countries to identify children in need of individualized educational treatment. Children classified as gifted are often provided
with accelerated or enriched programs. Children with identified deficits may be provided
with enhanced education in specific skills such as phonological awareness. In addition to basic abilities, the individual’s
personality traits are also important, with people higher in conscientiousness and hope
attaining superior academic achievements, even after controlling for intelligence and
past performance. Behavioral
Applied behavior analysis, a research-based science utilizing behavioral principles of
operant conditioning, is effective in a range of educational settings. For example, teachers can alter student behavior
by systematically rewarding students who follow classroom rules with praise, stars, or tokens
exchangeable for sundry items. Despite the demonstrated efficacy of awards
in changing behavior, their use in education has been criticized by proponents of self-determination
theory, who claim that praise and other rewards undermine intrinsic motivation. There is evidence that tangible rewards decrease
intrinsic motivation in specific situations, such as when the student already has a high
level of intrinsic motivation to perform the goal behavior. But the results showing detrimental effects
are counterbalanced by evidence that, in other situations, such as when rewards are given
for attaining a gradually increasing standard of performance, rewards enhance intrinsic
motivation. Many effective therapies have been based on
the principles of applied behavior analysis, including pivotal response therapy which is
used to treat autism spectrum disorders. Social
Among current educational psychologists, the cognitive perspective is more widely held
than the behavioral perspective, perhaps because it admits causally related mental constructs
such as traits, beliefs, memories, motivations and emotions. Cognitive theories claim that memory structures
determine how information is perceived, processed, stored, retrieved and forgotten. Among the memory structures theorized by cognitive
psychologists are separate but linked visual and verbal systems described by Allan Paivio’s
dual coding theory. Educational psychologists have used dual coding
theory and cognitive load theory to explain how people learn from multimedia presentations. The spaced learning effect, a cognitive phenomenon
strongly supported by psychological research, has broad applicability within education. For example, students have been found to perform
better on a test of knowledge about a text passage when a second reading of the passage
is delayed rather than immediate. Educational psychology research has confirmed
the applicability to education of other findings from cognitive psychology, such as the benefits
of using mnemonics for immediate and delayed retention of information. Problem solving, according to prominent cognitive
psychologists, is fundamental to learning. It resides as an important research topic
in educational psychology. A student is thought to interpret a problem
by assigning it to a schema retrieved from long-term memory. A problem students run into while reading
is called “activation.” This is when the student’s representations
of the text are present during working memory. This causes the student to read through the
material without absorbing the information and being able to retain it. When working memory is absent from the readers
representations of the working memory they experience something called “deactivation.” When deactivation occurs, the student has
an understanding of the material and is able to retain information. If deactivation occurs during the first reading,
the reader does not need to undergo deactivation in the second reading. The reader will only need to reread to get
a “gist” of the text to spark their memory. When the problem is assigned to the wrong
schema, the student’s attention is subsequently directed away from features of the problem
that are inconsistent with the assigned schema. The critical step of finding a mapping between
the problem and a pre-existing schema is often cited as supporting the centrality of analogical
thinking to problem solving. Developmental Developmental psychology, and especially the
psychology of cognitive development, opens a special perspective for educational psychology. This is so because education and the psychology
of cognitive development converge on a number of crucial assumptions. First, the psychology of cognitive development
defines human cognitive competence at successive phases of development. Education aims to help students acquire knowledge
and develop skills which are compatible with their understanding and problem-solving capabilities
at different ages. Thus, knowing the students’ level on a developmental
sequence provides information on the kind and level of knowledge they can assimilate,
which, in turn, can be used as a frame for organizing the subject matter to be taught
at different school grades. This is the reason why Piaget’s theory of
cognitive development was so influential for education, especially mathematics and science
education. In the same direction, the neo-Piagetian theories
of cognitive development suggest that in addition to the concerns above, sequencing of concepts
and skills in teaching must take account of the processing and working memory capacities
that characterize successive age levels. Second, the psychology of cognitive development
involves understanding how cognitive change takes place and recognizing the factors and
processes which enable cognitive competence to develop. Education also capitalizes on cognitive change,
because the construction of knowledge presupposes effective teaching methods that would move
the student from a lower to a higher level of understanding. Mechanisms such as reflection on actual or
mental actions vis-à-vis alternative solutions to problems, tagging new concepts or solutions
to symbols that help one recall and mentally manipulate them are just a few examples of
how mechanisms of cognitive development may be used to facilitate learning. Finally, the psychology of cognitive development
is concerned with individual differences in the organization of cognitive processes and
abilities, in their rate of change, and in their mechanisms of change. The principles underlying intra- and inter-individual
differences could be educationally useful, because knowing how students differ in regard
to the various dimensions of cognitive development, such as processing and representational capacity,
self-understanding and self-regulation, and the various domains of understanding, such
as mathematical, scientific, or verbal abilities, would enable the teacher to cater for the
needs of the different students so that no one is left behind. Constructivist Constructivism is a category of learning theory
in which emphasis is placed on the agency and prior “knowing” and experience of the
learner, and often on the social and cultural determinants of the learning process. Educational psychologists distinguish individual
constructivism, identified with Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, from social constructivism. A dominant influence on the latter type is
Lev Vygotsky’s work on sociocultural learning, describing how interactions with adults, more
capable peers, and cognitive tools are internalized to form mental constructs. Elaborating on Vygotsky’s theory, Jerome Bruner
and other educational psychologists developed the important concept of instructional scaffolding,
in which the social or information environment offers supports for learning that are gradually
withdrawn as they become internalized. Conditioning and learning To understand the characteristics of learners
in childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age, educational psychology develops and
applies theories of human development. Often represented as stages through which
people pass as they mature, developmental theories describe changes in mental abilities,
social roles, moral reasoning, and beliefs about the nature of knowledge. For example, educational psychologists have
conducted research on the instructional applicability of Jean Piaget’s theory of development, according
to which children mature through four stages of cognitive capability. Piaget hypothesized that children are not
capable of abstract logical thought until they are older than about 11 years, and therefore
younger children need to be taught using concrete objects and examples. Researchers have found that transitions, such
as from concrete to abstract logical thought, do not occur at the same time in all domains. A child may be able to think abstractly about
mathematics, but remain limited to concrete thought when reasoning about human relationships. Perhaps Piaget’s most enduring contribution
is his insight that people actively construct their understanding through a self-regulatory
process. Piaget proposed a developmental theory of
moral reasoning in which children progress from a naïve understanding of morality based
on behavior and outcomes to a more advanced understanding based on intentions. Piaget’s views of moral development were elaborated
by Kohlberg into a stage theory of moral development. There is evidence that the moral reasoning
described in stage theories is not sufficient to account for moral behavior. For example, other factors such as modeling
are required to explain bullying. Rudolf Steiner’s model of child development
interrelates physical, emotional, cognitive, and moral development in developmental stages
similar to those later described by Piaget. Developmental theories are sometimes presented
not as shifts between qualitatively different stages, but as gradual increments on separate
dimensions. Development of epistemological beliefs have
been described in terms of gradual changes in people’s belief in: certainty and permanence
of knowledge, fixedness of ability, and credibility of authorities such as teachers and experts. People develop more sophisticated beliefs
about knowledge as they gain in education and maturity. Motivation
Motivation is an internal state that activates, guides and sustains behavior. Motivation can have several impacting effects
on how students learn and how they behave towards subject matter:
Provide direction towards goals Enhance cognitive processing abilities and
performance Direct behavior toward particular goals
Lead to increased effort and energy Increase initiation of and persistence in
activities Educational psychology research on motivation
is concerned with the volition or will that students bring to a task, their level of interest
and intrinsic motivation, the personally held goals that guide their behavior, and their
belief about the causes of their success or failure. As intrinsic motivation deals with activities
that act as their own rewards, extrinsic motivation deals with motivations that are brought on
by consequences or punishments. A form of attribution theory developed by
Bernard Weiner describes how students’ beliefs about the causes of academic success or failure
affect their emotions and motivations. For example, when students attribute failure
to lack of ability, and ability is perceived as uncontrollable, they experience the emotions
of shame and embarrassment and consequently decrease effort and show poorer performance. In contrast, when students attribute failure
to lack of effort, and effort is perceived as controllable, they experience the emotion
of guilt and consequently increase effort and show improved performance. The self-determination theory was developed
by psychologists Edward Deci and Richard Ryan. SDT focuses on the importance of intrinsic
and extrinsic motivation in driving human behavior and posits inherent growth and development
tendencies. It emphasizes the degree to which an individual’s
behavior is self-motivated and self-determined. When applied to the realm of education, the
self-determination theory is concerned primarily with promoting in students an interest in
learning, a value of education, and a confidence in their own capacities and attributes. Motivational theories also explain how learners’
goals affect the way they engage with academic tasks. Those who have mastery goals strive to increase
their ability and knowledge. Those who have performance approach goals
strive for high grades and seek opportunities to demonstrate their abilities. Those who have performance avoidance goals
are driven by fear of failure and avoid situations where their abilities are exposed. Research has found that mastery goals are
associated with many positive outcomes such as persistence in the face of failure, preference
for challenging tasks, creativity and intrinsic motivation. Performance avoidance goals are associated
with negative outcomes such as poor concentration while studying, disorganized studying, less
self-regulation, shallow information processing and test anxiety. Performance approach goals are associated
with positive outcomes, and some negative outcomes such as an unwillingness to seek
help and shallow information processing. Locus of control is a salient factor in the
successful academic performance of students. During the 1970s and ’80s, Cassandra B. Whyte
did significant educational research studying locus of control as related to the academic
achievement of students pursuing higher education coursework. Much of her educational research and publications
focused upon the theories of Julian B. Rotter in regard to the importance of internal control
and successful academic performance. Whyte reported that individuals who perceive
and believe that their hard work may lead to more successful academic outcomes, instead
of depending on luck or fate, persist and achieve academically at a higher level. Therefore, it is important to provide education
and counseling in this regard. Technology Instructional design, the systematic design
of materials, activities and interactive environments for learning, is broadly informed by educational
psychology theories and research. For example, in defining learning goals or
objectives, instructional designers often use a taxonomy of educational objectives created
by Benjamin Bloom and colleagues. Bloom also researched mastery learning, an
instructional strategy in which learners only advance to a new learning objective after
they have mastered its prerequisite objectives. Bloom discovered that a combination of mastery
learning with one-to-one tutoring is highly effective, producing learning outcomes far
exceeding those normally achieved in classroom instruction. Gagné, another psychologist, had earlier
developed an influential method of task analysis in which a terminal learning goal is expanded
into a hierarchy of learning objectives connected by prerequisite relationships. The following list of technological resources
incorporate computer-aided instruction and intelligence for educational psychologists
and their students: Intelligent tutoring system
Educational technology Cognitive tutor
Cooperative learning Collaborative learning
Problem-based learning Computer-supported collaborative learning
Constructive alignment Technology is essential to the field of educational
psychology, not only for the psychologist themselves as far as testing, organization,
and resources, but also for students. Educational Psychologists whom reside in the
K- 12 setting focus the majority of their time with Special Education students. It has been found that students with disabilities
learning through technology such as IPad applications and videos are more engaged and motivated
to learn in the classroom setting. Liu et al. explain that learning- baed technology
allows for students to be more focused, and learning is more efficient with learning technologies. The authors explain that learning technology
also allows for students with social- emotional disabilities to participate in distance learning. Applications
Teaching Research on classroom management and pedagogy
is conducted to guide teaching practice and form a foundation for teacher education programs. The goals of classroom management are to create
an environment conducive to learning and to develop students’ self-management skills. More specifically, classroom management strives
to create positive teacher–student and peer relationships, manage student groups to sustain
on-task behavior, and use counseling and other psychological methods to aid students who
present persistent psychosocial problems. Introductory educational psychology is a commonly
required area of study in most North American teacher education programs. When taught in that context, its content varies,
but it typically emphasizes learning theories, issues about motivation, assessment of students’
learning, and classroom management. A developing Wikibook about educational psychology
gives more detail about the educational psychology topics that are typically presented in preservice
teacher education. Special education
Lesson plan Counseling
Training In order to become an educational psychologist,
students can complete an undergraduate degree in their choice. They then must go to graduate school to study
education psychology, counseling psychology, and/ or school counseling. Most students today are also receiving their
doctorate degrees in order to hold the “psychologist” title.Educational psychologists work in a
variety of settings. Some work in university settings where they
carry out research on the cognitive and social processes of human development, learning and
education. Educational psychologists may also work as
consultants in designing and creating educational materials, classroom programs and online courses.Educational
psychologists who work in k–12 school settings are trained at the master’s and doctoral levels. In addition to conducting assessments, school
psychologists provide services such as academic and behavioral intervention, counseling, teacher
consultation, and crisis intervention. However, school psychologists are generally
more individual-oriented towards students. Employment outlook
Employment for psychologists in the United States is expected to grow faster than most
occupations through the year 2014, with anticipated growth of 18–26%. One in four psychologists are employed in
educational settings. In the United States, the median salary for
psychologists in primary and secondary schools is US$58,360 as of May 2004. In recent decades the participation of women
as professional researchers in North American educational psychology has risen dramatically. Methods of research
Educational psychology, as much as any other field of psychology heavily relies on a balance
of pure observation and quantitative methods in psychology. The study of education generally combines
the studies of history, sociology, and ethics with theoretical approaches. Smeyers and Depaepe explain that historically,
the study of education and child rearing have been associated with the interests of policymakers
and practitioners within the educational field, however, the recent shift to sociology and
psychology has opened the door for new findings in education as a social science. Now being its own academic discipline, educational
psychology has proven to be helpful for social science researchers. Quantitative research is the backing to most
observable phenomenon in psychology. This involves observing, creating, and understanding
a distribution of data based upon the studies subject matter. Researchers use particular variables to interpret
their data distributions from their research and employ statistics as a way of creating
data tables and analyzing their data. Psychology has moved from the “common sense”
reputations initially posed by Thomas Reid to the methodology approach comparing independent
and dependent variables through natural observation, experiments, or combinations of the two. Though results are still, with statistical
methods, objectively true based upon significance variables or p- values. See also Applied psychology
Classroom management Cognitive sciences
Instructional theory Learning sciences
Learning theory List of educational psychologists
List of publications in psychology Living educational theory- an educational
psychology action research method Motivation theory
School psychologist Special education
References Further reading
Barry, W.J.. Challenging the Status Quo Meaning of Educational Quality: Introducing Transformational
Quality Theory©. Educational Journal of Living Theories. 4, 1-29. http:ejolts.net191
Among the most prominent journals in educational psychology are:
Review of Educational Research Learning and Instruction
American Educational Research Journal Journal of the Learning Sciences
Academy of Management Learning & Education Educational Researcher
Computers & Education Educational Research Review
Journal of Research in Science Teaching Reading Research Quarterly
Science Education Early Childhood Research Quarterly
Review of Research in Education Advances in Health Sciences Education
Internet and Higher Education Journal of Engineering Education
International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning
Sociology of Education British Educational Research Journal
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning External links
Educational Psychology Resources by Athabasca University
Division 15 of the American Psychological Association
Psychology of Education Section of the British Psychological Society
Explorations in Learning & Instructional Design: Theory Into Practice Database
Classics in the History of Psychology The Standards for Educational and Psychological
Testing Videos
The Psychology of Educational Quality-Transformational Quality Theory

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