Functions Of Educational Psychology

What are the functions and aims of educational psychology?

i also want to ask what is the relationship between education and psychology

Expert Answers
thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Educational psychology is, to a large degree, an applied discipline. This means that it has two major types of aims. The first involves understanding of how people learn. This is pure scholarship, consisting of research and the publication of results. Secondly, though, unlike purely theoretical disciplines, educational psychology has a strong practical focus, concerned with improving education by applying the insights of psychology to it.

Educational psychology is concerned with learners as individuals from both cognitive and behavioral points of view. This distinguishes it from sociology, which considers learners primarily as members of groups (such as ethnic, religious, or economic groups). Educational psychology is scientific in nature. Rather than being grounded simply in the pragmatics of educators' experiences, it attempts to use general theories about human nature and development to explain how people learn. 

The field has a long history, going back to ancient Greece and Rome. One important and consistent element of the discipline is that it argues that our pedagogical methods should be grounded in what we know about cognitive development, with pedagogical methods being age-appropriate. Educational psychology can focus on how to optimize learning but also studies failures in learning and addresses how they can be remedied. It can focus on "average," gifted, or exceptional students, or students with various learning disabilities. 

The way education is related to psychology is that educators can be most effective when they understand various elements of learners' psychology and apply that knowledge to their teaching methods. 

estoverl eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A simple explanation of the term educational psychology might be: the study of how the mind and behavior are linked to the process of learning. 

Northern Illinois University defines educational psychology as the scientific study of psychology in educational settings in its course description. Educational psychology functions as a tool to understanding how the mind and body best learn. In so doing, students of educational psychology can help educators understand under what conditions students will have the most success. 

Educational psychology then aims to understand how learning changes in different conditions and contexts. It also aims to define the roles of socialization, motivation and age/maturity in the learning process. 

A connection exists between education and psychology because learning (education) does not happen in a vacuum. The mind and body are always impacted by surroundings and events. How the mind and body interpret those surroundings and events impacts what is learned. 

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Psychology deals with the mental process and behavior. Educational psychology deals with the ways that individuals learn in various educational settings. In this way, education and psychology and very closely linked.

People who are educational psychologists serve many different roles.  For example, school psychologists may often study children who have specific educational needs, such as those who are gifted. Everyone learns in different ways and they also look for different educational interventions. Keep in mind that educational psychology does not apply to just children. Educational psychologists study learners of all ages, birth through old age. Learning is a lifelong process.