Functions of Educational Psychology, Learning & Development

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 09:44 -- Umar Farooq

Below are the two functions of educational psychology

  1. To develop theories of learning and teaching and
  2. To formulate practical suggestions for the teaching learning processes

These functions of educational psychology are discussed below in detail.

Theories of Learning and Development

A theory is set of related statements that tries to explain recurring phenomena and at the same times suggests ways by which these phenomena might be controlled. Educational theories explain phenomena having to do with learning. However, theories are sometime hard to be understood. Similarly, many theories are criticized for wasting government money on useless research. Yet, it is just such work that must be credited for bringing about the medical, technological and educational realities that our grandparents never dreamed were possible but which we take for granted.

The theories developed by educational psychologists seek to explain how people learn, remember, and behave in instructional situations. But educational psychologists also make use of theories developed in other fields. For example, social psychologists have come up with, theories of motivation to explain. why people act in a certain ways under certain conditions. Child development psychologists have built theories to explain the powerful influence of examples or models on people of different ages. Educational psychologists these and similar theories and select those parts that might be used or modified to enhance the teaching and learning processes. In short, educational psychologists are expected to develop theories of their own as well as to study and explain the theories of other social scientists that relate to education.

Formulation of Suggestions

The second important function of educational psychology is the formulation of suggestions. The educational psychologists take the theories that they have developed and translate them into practical suggestions for teachers to use in their classrooms. These theories are made proven after being used practically in classrooms. This helps the educational psychologist in formulating practical suggestions in the form of certain principles and laws. These principles and laws are applied by the teacher in the classrooms in order to develop the condition of education and ensure the overall development and adjustment of the child to his society. Supplying highly practical information is an important function of educational psychology, but teacher must learn more about the theories and scientific terms.

Clearly, then, educational psychologists have a responsibility to contribute to both theories and practice. We cannot ignore the importance of both the above functions of educational psychology.