Educational psychology is the applied branch of psychology. It consist of the application of psychological principles and techniques to human behavior in educational situations to the development of educational strategies and programs, problems and solutions.
There are three focal areas of educational psychology:
- The Learners
- The Learning Process
- The Learning Situation
This areas studies the abilities needs and motivational forces, like self-concept, life goals, values anxiety of the individual learner as well as the differences that exist among various individuals. This also includes the study of growth and development of the individual and the concept of maturity in various aspects of personality physical, mental, social and emotional. Study of the learners deals with the influences of his family, social class and peer groups on his personality and behavior. Social behavior and social norms of his peer group, emotional health and problem behavior of the learner are also studied in details from the mental hygiene point of view.
The Learning Process
Here it deals with the nature of learning and how it take place. It considers the various theatrical viewpoints as well experimental evidence to explain the role and nature of re-enforcement, forgetting, problem solving, transfer of training and the learning of skills concepts and attitudes.
The Learner’s Situation
In this situation the subject matter studies factors like class room management and discipline, techniques and aids which facilitate learning, methods of teaching exceptional students, evaluation techniques and practice, guidance and counseling.
Questions like when to teach? What to teach and how to teach are very important in gathering data. For this, educational psychologists are more concerned with answers to these questions. The first questions refers to the development processes that gradually mature as the child grows up. Similarly the problem of what to teach is important because of its close relationship with the process of maturation. Certain types of learning can be useful to the child only when he has mature sufficiently in certain faculties. For example we cannot teach mathematics to a three years old child though he may be taught to count single things. The problem of how to teach is equally important because there are three ways and means to teaching which can make the education of a child more effective and meaningful.