Relevance of Educational Psychology
Educational Psychology is definitely that branch of psychology which is meant for helping the cause of teaching and learning. As science of education, it supplies all the information, principles and techniques which may help a teacher in his better teaching and a learner for his better teaching. Let us see how does the knowledge of educational psychology help to a teacher in his teaching and a learner in his teaching. In other words, let us analyse and elaborate the functions served by educational psychology in the field of teaching and learning.
(A) Relevance of Educational Psychology for the Teacher and Teaching
Educational psychology with its broad coverage of the content material principles, theories, techniques and applied experiences first analyses the tasks of the teacher's teaching and then in its light tries to supply the knowledge and skills needed by the teacher. In brief, what is required by the teacher in respect to his class room teaching and other activities needed for helping the students in their desirable behaviour modification and all round growth and development may be outlined as below:
1. To Know the Learner:- Unless the teacher has some knowledge of the potentialities of the child, he cannot go ahead with his task. Educational Psychology equips the teacher for understanding the child in the following different ways:
- His interests, attitudes, aptitudes and the other acquired or innate capacities and abilities etc.
- The stage of development linked with his social; emotional, intellectual, physical and aesthetic needs.
- His level of aspiration.
- His conscious and unconscious behaviour.
- His motivational behaviour.
- The aspect of his group behaviour.
- The conflicts, desires and other aspects of his material health.
2. To select and Organise the Subject-matter:- After knowing the child, when the stage is ready for educating the child, the following questions come in the way:
- What types of learning experiences or learning materials are to be provided?
- How should be organise or grade the materials or learning experiences?
To answer these types of questions, which belong to the area of curriculum construction, one needs the knowledge of the characteristics of the learner at each stage of his development, the nature and laws of learning etc. which come under the domain of Educational Psychology.
3. To Suggest Art and Techniques of Learning as well as Teaching:- After deciding about the learner and the learning material the next problem how to teach or learn' is also solved with the help of Educational Psychology. Educational Psychology explains the process of learning and suggests the means for effective and enduring learning. It reveals how to maintain interest in the learning process. In this way, it acquaints the teacher with the way of making the pupils learn and thus gives birth to the suitable methodology of teaching. It also suggests that not a single method or technique is suitable for all kinds of learners in all circumstances. A teacher should select a proper device or method according to the learning situations he faces.
4. To Arrange Learning Situation or Environment:- Midway between the learner and the teacher in the educational process are the learning situations or the environment. Much depends upon the appropriateness of this midway element. The knowledge of Educational. Psychology equips the teacher for taking care of the desirable learning situation and environment where we should have individual learning or self-study and where the group learning or project work is suggested by Educational Psychology. The knowledge of group dynamics and group behaviour gives the necessary art for teaching or learning in the group.
5. To Acquaint him with the Mechanism of Heredity and Environment:- The knowledge of the role played by heredity and environment in the process of growth and development of the child, is very essential for the teacher. He can weigh their relative importance and take a balanced decision for his work.
6. Helping in Maintaining Discipline:- Knowledge of Educational Psychology helps the teacher to have a creative type of discipline as it acquaints him with the nature of the child, his strength and weakness, his interests and aptitudes etc. on the one hand and with art and techniques of teaching and learning on the other hand. Moreover, his knowledge of the needs drives, fatigue and motivational aspects of the learner and above all the knowledge of the behaviour pattern and personality characteristics of the children all help him in the process of maintaining proper discipline.
7. Rendering Guidance Services:- The knowledge of Educational Psychology helps the teacher in rendering guidance services to the pupils. He is the person who can know the child better, even more than their parents. With the knowledge of Educational Psychology at his command, he is in touch with the methods of behavioural assessment and appraisal.He can better diagnose the abilities, interests and aptitudes of his pupils and consequently have an ideal of the direction and speed of their development In this way, with the help of Educational Psychology, the teacher can show the right direction to his pupils for their total development.
8. Helping in Evaluation and Assessment:- While proceeding in the course of teaching-learning process, the need for evaluation is felt. After giving learning experiences to the child, the behavioural changes occurred in him are required to be examined and also in the beginning the potentialities are to be known. In Educational Psychology, as applied behavioural science, evaluation, measurement and appraisal finds its place, which make the teacher well-equipped in the task of evaluation with proper professional skill.
9. Solving Classroom Problems:- There are innumerable problems like backwardness, truancy, bullying, cheating in the classroom situations which are to be faced by a teacher, Educational Psychology helps the teacher on this front also. The study of the characteristics of the problem children, the dynamics of the group, behavioural characteristics and adjustment etc. equip the teacher to solve the actual class-room problems.
10. Knowing About Himself:- Knowledge of Educational Psychology helps the teacher to know about himself. His own behaviour pattern, personality characteristics, likes and dislikes, motivation, anxiety; conflicts, adjustment etc. are all revealed to him. He also learns the psychology being a teacher and acquaints himself with the traits of a successful teacher and characteristics of effective teaching. All this knowledge helps him in growing as a successful teacher.
By mentioning the above areas we cannot just say that it is all for which the knowledge of Educational Psychology is needed by a teacher. Teacher's needs and problems are too many and have so many aspects. Educational Psychology being a science and technology of education helps the teacher in all the phases of teaching and learning whether informal or formal, curricular or co-curricular. It does not only equip him for the class-room instruction but also for the other duties assigned to him like-construction of time-table, organization of co-curricular activities, to seek parental co-operation etc.
(B) Relevance of Educational Psychology with Regard to Learning
Learning is very much helped and facilitated by the knowledge. principles, theories and techniques of Educational Psychology. In other words, Educational Psychology may prove quite beneficial to the learners in the realization of the learning objectives in the manner summarized below:
1. Educational Psychology may help the learner in the task of knowing one's self. They may thus be acquainted with their abilities and capacities, interests and aptitudes, likings and dislikings, attitudes and dispositions etc. related to the various aspects of their curricular courses and co-curricular means. Such knowledge of their strength and weaknesses may go a long way and adjust their level of aspiration and mode of working in getting desired success in their learning attempts.
2. The theories, principles used techniques related to motivation, ways of learning and remembering may help them well in their tasks of learning.
3. The knowledge of the processes and factors helpful in paying attention and remaining away from the forces of distraction may help them in attending to their studies and learning processes as effectively as possible.
4. How much it is essential to remain adjusted to one's self and the environment? The knowledge and techniques helpful in seeking such harmony and enjoying better mental health can be better acquired through the applied aspect of Educational Psychology. It is no denying of the fact that those who remain adjusted and enjoy better mental health can be better learners and successful individuals in their lives.
5. The knowledge of the facts and principle related to group dynamics and group behaviour may help them to adjust and merge their behaviour according to the needs of the group learning situations-classroom and other cooperative ways of learning.
6. Through the study of mechanism of heredity and environment they may get acquainted with true roles of the hereditary-and environmental forces in shaping and moulding their ways of learning and behaving, growth and development etc. They must thus protect their self from being damaged with the rumours and incorrect information spread in the society in the name of perpetuation of caste, creed, colour and blood theories. As a result, a child born in the deprived section of the society may also acquire enough confidence to learn whatever he decides in the course of his life.
7. A students after learning the role of favourable and unfavourable factors, conditions, situations and resources may be benefitted to utilize or make full advantage of the better learning environment on one hand and on the other hand avoiding the situation or factors that may prove detrimental to his learning success.
8. The theory and mechanism related to remembering and forgetting may help the learner to learn retain, reproduce and thus utilize fully the fruits of learning as effectively as possible.
9. The knowledge of the mechanism of transfer of learning or training may provide them desired skill for getting proper help from their past and related learning in their present learning assignment as well as utilize their present learning stock in almost all the possible ways in the learning or problems solving behaviour of the future.
10. The knowledge of educational psychology may also equip them with the facts and principle of behaviour modification and other therapeutic techniques. How to acquire desirable habits and proper ways of learning and how to break the bad habits and unlearn the improper ways and means of learning can thus be better acquired through the study and practices of educational psychology.
Scope of Educational Psychology
The scope of educational psychology is ever-growing due to constantly researches in this field. The following factors will indicate the scope of educational psychology:
1. Human Behaviour:- It studies human behaviour in the educational context. Psychology is the study of behaviour and education aims at modification of behaviour. Hence the influence of Educational Psychology has to be reflected in all aspects of education.
2. Growth and development:- It studies the principles governing growth and development. The insight provided by the study will help in scientifically planning and executing learner oriented programmes of education.
3. The Learner:- The subject-matter of educational psychology is knitted around the learner. Therefore, the need of knowing the learner and the techniques of knowing him well. The topics include – the innate abilities and capacities of the individuals, individual differences and their measurements, the overt, covert, conscious as well as unconscious behaviour of the learner, the characteristics of his growth and development and each stage beginning from childhood to adulthood.
4. The Learning Experiences:- Educational Psychology helps in deciding what learning experiences are desirable, at what stage of the growth and development of the learner, so that these experiences can be acquired with a greater ease and satisfaction.
5. Learning process:- After knowing the learner and deciding what learning experiences are to be provided, Educational Psychology moves on to the laws, principles and theories of learning. Other items in the learning process are remembering and forgetting, perceiving, concept formation, thinking and reasoning, problem solving, transfer of learning, ways and means of effective learning etc.
6. Guidance and Counselling:- Education is nothing by providing guidance and counselling required for the proper development of the child. This is very true, especially in the light of the extremely complex and problematic situation one has to face in the fast growing world. Educational psychology has come to the rescue by developing principles and practical measures helpful for providing effective guidance and counselling.
7. Personality and adjustment:- Education has been defined as the all-round development of the personality of an individual. If educational has to fulfil this function all instructional programmes have to be based on the principles governing the nature and development of personality.
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