Before we introduce the concepts of educational psychology we must understand what it means and the rule of educational psychologists. Educational psychologists are responsible for learning and understanding classrooms beyond traditional means. They assess the school ERP and evaluate factors that influence student learning.
Recently, educational institutions have leveled up by introducing the concept of online learning. Educational psychologists study student development in particular, and general human development for understanding cognitive, emotional, and social aspects of learning. For example, they can study the impact of an LMS on an institution to understand how students can improve their performance despite studying across screens.
Meaning of educational psychology
Educational psychology is a branch of applied psychology that combines effective education methods through experimentation and research. It uses understanding from organizational psychology educational practices and theories applied by schools, teachers and institution management, and cognitive psychology. It can initiate and influence classroom management approaches, lesson development, teacher progress, and learning programs.
Psychologists who specialize in educational psychology can also diagnose students with learning disabilities and advise institutions on steps they can take to help struggling learners.
How to become an educational psychologist?
Students can specialize in educational psychology only after completion of their master’s degree in psychology. When they apply for a Ph.D. or doctorate they need to specify the field of specialization in which they want to research.
Other options include a general psychology degree that allows students to first enter a master’s program and an additional doctorate of three to five years. The internship years are included in the final year of their doctorate where they complete the research thesis based on educational psychology.
Students can earn a Psy.D or Ph.D.
Ph.D. Programs have the main focus on educational psychology. Students looking for a more scientific or technical option that goes beyond applied psychology can choose this as an academic career option.
Psy.D Programs are practical and focus on practice. It lacks pure science applications. Both the degrees require students to have a license before they start practicing. Most practitioners have to keep pursuing a career in the field and practicing or continuing education of some form to ensure they can maintain their license. Attending seminars, webinars, and conferences, working professionally from a chamber, taking classes in schools and universities, and reading designated materials can help them maintain this.
Are educational psychologists and school psychologists the same?
These are two distinct positions, where an educational psychologist is more qualified and preferably has a degree and license to practice professionally and independently. A school psychologist on the other hand does not need a license to practice and can be hired or employed by institutions, whether it is schools or universities, to practice.
Some parts of their jobs might overlap because the field of study is very similar. The major distinction lies in the focus of learning.
Educational psychologists have the prime focus on education as a whole which can be drawn out of a healthy school environment. Students, teachers, the management system, school staff, and parents are all stakeholders in the process of education and learning, but not the only ones. Learning concepts, methodologies, applied and practical learning, and other topics related to education must be known by educational psychologists.
A school psychologist focuses on the psychological well-being of students and teachers only. Depending on their assigned role in an institution, they work under the management with the prime motive of acting as a counselor, therapist, or advisor. Students can have problems related to their personal life, self-esteem issues, and other things outside educational fields. Hence, a school psychologist ensures an individual’s well-being rather than educational well-being.
The job of an educational psychologist
Most educational psychologists like to work independently while being a part of an institution. They are highly demanded in K12 schools and universities.
In a school, they might undertake the following tasks;
- Work with teachers to plan curriculums focusing on maximum learning with maximum efficiency.
- Work with parents, students, or teachers to address specific education-related problems, mostly with an IEP.
- Collaborate with school administration to formulate educational methodologies.
- Diagnose learning disabilities in students.
- Training school administration, recruitment team, and teachers on learning topics.
- Analyze and measure student progress.
Are you an educational psychologist aspirant or a teacher looking for professional courses that give you the same knowledge an educational psychologist has? Look up the courses and avail them today. In a digitalized world, you can now learn anything from anywhere!