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Studies & Degrees in Educational Psychology

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Educational Psychology Study Programs

Educational psychology is a discipline dealing with the study of how people learn; it is a specialized area within the larger field of psychology. There are a number of other disciplines that form educational psychology – developmental psychology, which examines the stages of human development as well as the processes that influence it; social and behavioral psychology, as well as abnormal psychology. Another area of great interest to educational psychologists is the one of the acquisition of knowledge, especially when it comes to the way gifted children or children with disabilities gain knowledge. Specialists in this area explore how the school and social environments have an effect on education and learning. They can also explore new treatment methods for helping teachers develop customized plans for children with special needs.

Furthermore, educational psychologists might test students for factors like IQ, language learning ability and other matters, or they might study standardized tests administered by a school. They may also identify racial groups, language learners, etc. with the purpose to help the school serve better all groups within the institution. Finally, the educational psychologist might give recommendations about implementing new teaching styles, curricula, and teaching strategies.

Personal Qualities

Educational Psychology is a very complicated subject, and the profession is a highly responsible one. For this reason, you should be committed to your education, be very disciplined and reliable. Here are some other skills to consider:

  • Interested in people and their behavior
  • Good at problem-solving
  • Patient and perceptive
  • Good listening skills
  • Excellent analytical qualities
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

Study Options

Completing a bachelor’s degree in psychology could be a prerequisite for becoming an educational psychologist, but it would usually not be enough for you do secure a job in this field. A master’s, or even an Ed.D or a PhD in psychology would be a much more suitable choice. Still, there are bachelor’s degrees in Educational Psychology offered, which would help you gain a thorough grounding in the fundamental principles of psychology, the scientific study of mind and behavior, as well as provide a focus on the application of psychology to education. A work placement is again an essential part of this discipline – you can never learn how to examine people’s behavior in theory only. For the master’s and doctoral courses offered, there are sound requirements for candidates, including research, research apprenticeships, and multicultural education.

Career Options

Educational psychologists may work in a wide range of settings. Some educational psychologists work at colleges and universities - either in psychology departments, or departments of education. They could carry out different tasks - teach classes, be responsible for research, prepare prospective teachers and other educators, and/or develop statistical and research methods. Furthermore, at the college level, educational psychologists may work in study skills programs, instructional improvement programs, and/or curriculum development projects. Other educational psychologists work in government, school, military, or corporate settings, where they participate in training staff, developing and implementing educational programs, evaluating the effectiveness of educational programs, and/or analyzing educational data. Finally, educational psychologists may work in research and development organizations, in which they develop instructional materials or educational tests for schools, businesses, and a wide pool of professions.