Topic: Fundamental of Educational Psychology

Subject: Nursing Education

4th Year B.Sc in Nursing 

Introduction: Educational Psychology is one of the many branches of Psychology dealing mainly with the problems, processes and products of education. It is an attempt to apply the knowledge of psychology in the field of education. Here, we try to study human behavior, particularly the behavior of the learner in relation to his educational environment. In other words, educational psychology may be defined as that branch of psychology which studies the behavior of the learner in relation to his educational needs and his environment. Educational psychology is mainly meant for solving the practical problems related to the field of education, especially the process and learning.

Definitions of E. Psychology:

  1. Educational psychology is the science of education  —— Peel (1956).
  1. Educational psychology describes and explains the learning experiences of an individual from birth to old age.

—–Crow and Crow (1973).

  1. Educational psychology is that branch of psychology which deals with teaching and learning.

———-Skinner (1958).

  1. Educational psychology is a science where the educational process is correctly explained and different theories of psychology are used scientifically to improve in the field of education.

——-W.B. Kolesnik.

 We can say:

  1. Educational psychology is the applied branch of psychology.
  2. Educational psychology follows learning behavior of the learner.
  3. The subject discusses different types of problems related to education and how to apply the fundamental principles of psychology in order to improve education process.
  4. Main objective is to achieve all kind of knowledge and experience in the field of education which will help the learners in his life.

Is educational Psychology a science of education?

Science and technology have made it possible for us to carry out all our tasks efficiently, effectively and speedily. With the help of minimum input in terms of labour, energy and time, science helps us to derive maximum output in terms of the quality and quantity of the finished products, or outcomes. Science and technology have thus made our life quite comfortable.

Let us try to evaluate educational psychology against this criterion. What role can it play in the field of education?  Does it help the person connected with the task of arranging and providing education or getting the fruits of education in the same way as science and technology help those connected with other tasks in our day-to-day life? Surely it does. It helps in realizing the objectives of education in a better way. Education aims at shaping the behavior of the students in a desirable way and bringing about all-round developments in their personality.

The task is carried out through the process of formal and informal teaching and learning. Educational psychology comes in here for planning the process of teaching and learning by adopting the scientific principles of minimum input for maximum output. As a result, with the help of educational psychology, a teacher can teach effectively by making minimum use of his energy in terms of time, and labour; similarly, the students can learn effectively by spending less of their time and effort.

Educational psychology thus helps to carry out the processes and produce the result of education. It supplies the necessary knowledge and skills, especially for the teacher, to realize the objectives of education. It equips the teacher by supplying the essential scientific skills, technological expertise and advice in molding and shaping the behavior of his students for the desirable all-round development of their personality much in the same way as the person connected with the actual construction of bridge  are helped by an engineer  or mechanic equipped with the civil, mechanical or electrical technology.

Educational psychology thus plays the same role as other sciences or technology in helping the teachers and other persons connected with the building of the future of the youngsters in their charge. So we can say educational psychology is the science and technology of education.

Nature of Educational Psychology:

The following points confirm the nature of educational psychology as scientific:

  1. Educational psychology possesses a well-organized, systematic and universally accepted body of facts supported by the relevant psychological laws and principles.
  2. It is constantly in search of the truth i.e studying the behavior of the learner in relation to his educational environment. Moreover, the findings of such study are never taken as absolute and permanent. The result of any study in educational psychology can be challenged and are modified or altered in terms of the latest explanations and findings.
  3. It employs scientific method and adopts a scientific approach for studying the learner’s behavior. Setting of hypotheses, objective, observation, , controlled experimentation , clinical investigation and generalization based on adequate
  4. Educational Psychology does not take anything for granted. It emphasizes that essentially there is some definite cause linked with a behavior and the causes of this behavior are not related to supernatural phenomena.
  5. Educational psychology is mostly concerned with the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of happenings in the present instead of caring for the past. It focuses attention on problems like the present behavior of the learner, the causes of such behavior and the repercussions if it were to continue unchanged.
  6. The processes and products of these studies are sufficiently scientific as a high degree of logical reliability, objectivity and validity is maintained in carrying out the study and research in the field of educational psychology.

Scope of Educational Psychology (1):

Educational psychology has important application in the following three aspects of education———–

  1. Learner.
  2. Learning process.
  3. Evaluation of learning process.

Learner: Educational psychology helps in understanding the development characteristics of the students, their individual differences in intelligence and personalities, their adjustment abilities & their attitudes towards learning with the help of educational psychology a teacher is able to understand individual differences & can adjust teaching to the needs of the class.

Learning Process: The knowledge of educational psychology provides the knowledge of learning process in general and the problems of classroom learning particularly—

  • To instruct effectively in the class, the teacher must understand the principles of learning and their remedial measures.
  • The curriculum incorporates the needs of the students, their development characteristics, learning pattern and needs of the society.

Evaluation of learning process: With the help of psychological tests, learning outcomes of the curriculum are conducted.  Measurement of aptitudes and any innovation introduced by the teacher should also be evaluated without delay.  Immediate feedback and knowledge of results enhance learner’s motivation.

Scope of Educational Psychology (2):

The subject matter of educational psychology must be centered on the process of teaching and learning for enabling the teacher and learners to do their jobs as satisfactorily as possible. For improving the processes and products of the system related to teaching and learning; we have to improve all the ingredients of this phenomenon. The basic questions involved in the teaching-learning process must be satisfactorily attended to:

  1. Who is being taught or educated?
  2. By whom is the learner to be taught or educated?
  3. What is to be taught?
  4. How are the learning experiences to be provided?
  5. When and where are the learning experiences to be provided?

Let’s discuss the above questions in details to understand deeply about the scope of educational psychology:

  1. Who is being taught or educated?

The individuality and personality of the learner must be known before he is taught or subjected to behavior modification.  It can be:

  1. Topics and contents must be helpful in exploring the individuality of the learner.
  2. The process and pattern of growth and development during different stages of an individual’s life, his innate abilities, the learning and acquired abilities, and extent of interest, aptitudes, attitudes, intelligence, and creativity are also important for personality appraisal.
  3. By whom is the learner to be taught or educated?

In order to achieve the desired success in any teaching-learning process, the role of the teacher can never be minimized. The teacher him-self must be acquainted with his own-self, the expectation from him in terms of personality, characteristics, and role playing and work habits. He is required to pay attention to the following aspects which have been included in a text of educational psychology:

  1. Personality’s traits and characteristics of a good teacher.
  2. Duties and responsibilities of a teacher.
  3. Measures for knowing and doing away with his own conflicts, anxiety and tension.
  4. Teacher’s motivation, level of aspiration, adjustment and mental health.

3. What is to be taught?

  1. Educational psychology plays its role in deciding the type of learning experiences suitable for learners by keeping in view the differences in their potentialities.
  2. It definitely covers the topics helpful in suggesting principles, methods and techniques for the selection of learning experiences appropriate for learner. it helps on how to organize the contents and topics for giving them the shape of a syllabus or curriculum.
  3. the subject tries to encompass the essential knowledge and skills for equipping the teacher to plan, select and arrange learning experiences.
  4. How are the learning experiences to be provided?

Educational psychology tries to provide satisfactory solutions for above   question by including relevant topics such as the following:

  • Nature, laws and theories of learning.
  • Remembering and forgetting.
  • Means of effective learning and memorization.
  • Sensation and perception.
  • Concept formation.
  • Interest and attitude formation, thinking, reasoning and problem-solving behavior etc.
  1. When and where are the learning experiences to be provided?

Every time and place or environment situation is not suitable for a particular piece of instruction or the sharing of learning experiences. Educational psychology helps the teacher and learner to understand the suitability and appropriateness of a teaching-learning objective. It also helps them to modify the teaching-learning situation to achieve the desired results by considering the following points:

  • Classroom climate.
  • Institutional/organizational climate.
  • Individual, self, supervised and group study.
  • Factors affecting attention.
  • Role of rewards and punishment.
  • Group behavior.
  • Guidance and counseling.

 Scope of Educational Psychology (3):

The followings are included in the scope of educational psychology:

  1. Human behavior: It studies human behavior (teacher, learner) in educational situations. Psychology is the study of behavior and education deals with the modification of behavior and hence, educational psychology pervade in whole field of education.
  2. Growth and development: It studies growth and development of the child. How a child passes through various stages of growth and what are the characteristics of each stage are included in the study of educational psychology.
  3. Learning process: Learning is a major phenomenon in education. It focuses the law of learning. It studies how learning can take place most effectively and economically.
  4. Heredity and environment: To what extent heredity and environment contributes towards the growth of the individual and how this knowledge can be used for bringing about the optimum development of the child, form a salient feature of the scope of educational psychology.
  5. Personality: educational psychology deals with the nature and development of the personality of an individual; personality development also implies a well-adjusted personality.
  6. Individual difference: every individual differs from another and it is one of the fundamental facts of human nature, which has been brought to light by educational psychology. This one fact has revolutionized the concept and purpose of education.
  7. Intelligence and its measurement: The nature of intelligence as well as its measurement has been included in educational psychology. This is of great importance for an educator.
  8. Guidance and counseling: This is one of the most important areas of study included in the field of educational psychology. Education is nothing but providing guidance  and counseling to the growing child. Thus, these form an important aspect of educational psychology.

Purpose/Importance/Significance of Educational Psychology:

  1. A Kelly listed the significance of educational psychology as follows:
  2. To give understanding of the nature, aims and purpose of education.
  3. To give understanding of the scientific methods and procedures which have been used in arriving at the facts and principles of educational psychology?
  4. To present the principles and techniques of learning and teaching.
  5. To give training in methods of measuring abilities and achievement in school subjects.
  6. To give a knowledge of the growth and development of children.
  7. To assist in the better adjustment of children and help them to prevent maladjustment.
  8. To study the educational significance and control of emotions and
  9. To give an understanding of the principles and techniques of correct training.

Methods of Educational Psychology:

Introspection method: This is the oldest known method for the study of behavior. In the early days of evolution of psychology, behavior was studied only through a kind of self-examination of inner observation called introspection.

The word ‘introspection’ is made up of two Latin words, intro meaning ‘within’ or inward , and spiere meaning to ,’ look’. Hence, introspection means looking within or looking inward. It is a sort of self-observation in which one perceives analyses and reports one’s own feelings and in fact, everything that takes place in one’s mind during the course of a mental act. For example, when in a state of anxiety, fear or anger, one may be asked to determine by one’s own observation what one sensed, thought or felt at the time of experiencing that emotion.

Observation Method:  Observation as a method of studying behavior consists of the perception of an individual’s behavior under natural condition by other individuals and the interpretation and analysis of this perceived behavior by them.  It is thus essentially a way of ‘perceiving the behavior as it is’.  By this method we can identify the mental processes of others through observation of their external behavior.

Experimental method: It is considered the most scientific and objective method of studying behavior. It lays emphasis on performing experiments.  The word experiment comes from the Latin word ‘  experimentum’  which means ‘a trial’ or ‘test’. In educational psychology we perform such experiments in the psychological laboratory, class rooms or outside the class rooms in physical or social settings to study the cause and effect relationship regarding the nature of human behavior, i.e the effect of anxiety,, drugs or stresses on human behavior, the effect of intelligence, or perception in a co-curricular activities, on the academic performance of students etc.

Differential method: The differential method is based on individual differences. All the measures applied to the calculation of individual differences are included in this method. It is also known as normative survey method or field survey method as the investigator has to go to the field to make his investigations. Differential method differ from the experimental approach in that the investigator can not intentionally manipulate the variables and each of these is studied as an independent variable.  Example: in studying the relationship of achievement with intelligence, it is not possible to manipulate intelligence.  Therefore, we have to take each individual and study his achievement in relation to his intelligence. After that, we can try to arrive at certain conclusion with the help of statistical technique.

Clinical Method: Whereas experimental and differential methods are generally used to investigate general behavioral facts, the clinical method is directed towards the study of individual behavior. The clinical set-up or environment is associated with health care and treatment of the individuals who come for advice and treatment for their mental and physical disorders. Clinical methods also remind us of all those methods which deal with the task of investigating the root cause of a problem or exceptional behavior and suggesting as well as providing proper environment and possible treatment.

Psycho-physical method: The branch of psychology which is concerned with the study of the relationship between physical and psychological phenomenon is called psycho-physics. The term ‘psycho-physical methods’ may be used to refer to all those methods in which attempts are made to employ physical devices for the scientific measurement of some psychological experiences like the sensation of weight, brightness, loudness and other such dimensions.  Other complicated psychological phenomenon like sleep or span of memory etc. can also be studied by psycho-physical methods.

Prepared by:

Chowdhury Ahshanul Haider,