Educational Psychology in the Classroom


What is Educational Psychology?

Educational Psychology investigates teaching and learning by looking at instructional design and manipultaion, looking at who is the learner and what are the cognitive processses. It can be used to complement other educational inquiries. Understanding Educational Psychology can help in a classroom situation; it is important that teachers understand that you can apply multiple perspectives to classroom activities and it is thought that this approach is better balanced. As such it is recommened that reading be done on all of the possible approaches and informed decisions made. Van Bergen, P (2010)

How can Psychology help Education?

Research-based psychological theory can help guide the design of instructional methods and materials. It is important for this to work for there to be "a two-way street between psychology and education in which both disciplines work together for their mutual benefit."Mayer, R (2001). Cognitive psychologists study in order to understand how people learn and educators, or teachers, work to help people learn.

Psychologists of subject matter can be a great help to teachers as they examine how people learn particular topics ie how to read, how to write, how to think mathmateically, scientifically and historically, among others.

Educational psychology can also help in understanding cognitive strategies. These are the processes the learner uses to influence learning and cognition. For example, using rehearsal strategies, such as reading a spelling list aloud, to recognise understanding in the student.

"When it comes to the role of psychology in education, my argument is that there is nothing as beneficial to practice as a good theory." Mayer, R (2001)

Further Information
Learning-Theories.com - view here
Learning Theories - A Primer Exercise: An examination of Behaviourism, Cognitivism and Humanism - view here
Cooperative Learning: Where Behavioral and Humanistic Approaches to Classroom Motivation Meet - view here
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