Educational psychology is a broad branch of psychology. It is a compound word which consists of two words: education and psychology. Psychology is a science of behavior and experience and education is the modification of behavior. It is one of the most important branches of applied psychology. It is an attempt to apply the knowledge of psychology to the field of education. Educational psychology helps the teacher to foster harmonious development of the student into a responsible and participating citizen.
Different definitions of Education psychology
1. According to Skinner, “Educational psychology is that branch of psychology which deals with teaching and learning. (1958).2. According to Noll and others,” Educational psychology is concerned primarily with the study of human behavior as it is changed or directed under, the social process education.
3. According to E. A. Peel, “ Educational psychology is the science of education.”
4. According to Crow and Crow, “ Educational psychology describes and explains the learning experiences of an individual from birth through old age.”
5. According to David P. Ausubel, “ Educational psychology is the special branch of psychology concerned with the nature, conditions, outcomes, and evaluation of school learning and retention.”
Nature of Educational Psychology :
The nature of educational psychology as it has been accepted that it is a science of education. The nature of educational psychology are given below :
1. Applied Science: Educational science as an applied branch of psychology applies the principle of psychology to study the behavior of the children in a learning situation.
2. Positive science: Educational psychology explains educational facts as they are and does not pass any judgment.
3. Educational Service: It deals with educational problems only unlike psychology, which deals with the behavior of individuals.
4. Social science: Educational psychology studies the learner from an educational point of views and the results are applicable to learners in a social situation.
5. Practical Science: It helps a teacher to solve the various problems that arise in a classroom situation.
The scope of Educational Psychology :
The scope of Educational psychology is wide. It is concerned with the problems of education, its scope can be broadly classified and they are given below :
1. The learner or the pupil :
Educational psychology helps us to know about the inner abilities, capacities, individual differences, the nature of the conscious and unconscious behavior.
2. Learning Experiences :
It deals with the development of a child in the learning process. Therefore it plans educational activities suitable for the child on the basis of different development stages.
Educational psychology studies the behavior of the learner in a learning situation. It studies the psychological as well as the physiological behavior of the child. It studies all both the psychological basis of behavior such as instincts, emotions, sympathy, imitation etc and physiological behavior.
4. Individual Differences:
No two individuals are completely alike, they differ both physically and psychologically. Individual differences such as differences in capacities and capabilities, potentialities, and propensities, abilities, and intelligence.
5. Heredity and Environment :
Heredity and environment contribute towards the individual differences and growth o the individual. The goal is gain optimum development.
6. The learning process :
Educational psychology also makes a detailed study of the learning processes. It studies the nature, theories, methods, and laws of the learning process. It also studies the principles of memory, concept formation, thinking and reasoning and problem-solving.
7. The learning situation :
It also makes a detailed study of the factors that influence the learning situation i.e. the classroom climate, the relationship of the child with other children.
8. The Teacher: The teacher is always an integral part of the learning process and it is very necessary for the teacher to know himself very well. Educational psychology helps the teacher to know about his anxieties and conflicts and guides to achieve success in his work.
9. Evaluation: Measurement and evaluation is another important field s of educational psychology. It gives new and new techniques and tests for measuring intelligence, personality, aptitudes, interests, and achievements.
10. Study of the unconscious: Educational psychology also attempts to make a study of the complexity of our unconscious mind and the role it plays in our day to day life and seeks to understand the underlying cause that is creating complexity of the unconscious mind.