Educational Psychology Careers
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What Is Educational Psychology?
Educational psychology is the study of how humans learn and retain knowledge, primarily in educational settings like classrooms. This includes emotional, social, and cognitive learning processes. Areas of focus in this branch of psychology might include teaching and testing methods, classroom environment, and learning, social, and behavioral problems that may impede learning.
The majority of educational psychology is geared toward children, from infancy to adolescence. With more adults continuing their education in recent years, however, many educational psychology studies have also focused on adult learners. This research can help adult learners overcome obstacles, such as learning disabilities.
Educational psychology can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century. In 1903, Edward Lee Thorndike literally wrote the book on educational psychology. Not surprisingly, it was entitled simply Educational Psychology. Later, in 1910, he started the Journal of Educational Psychology.
Why Do We Need Educational Psychology?
Many of us might take learning and education for granted. Going to class and being taught is or was just something that we did. For others, however, learning in a classroom isn't so simple. For these people, school is an annoying and frustrating torture, which can often lead to behavioral issues or even the lack of an education.
Learning disabilities often contribute a great deal to being unable to retain knowledge in a classroom setting. Educational psychology, however, can be used to help people understand and overcome learning disabilities, so they are able to live up to their full potential in life.
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What Does an Educational Psychologist Do?
An educational psychologist will conduct research and studies that are relevant to education. They may conduct research on how well people learn in certain settings or with a certain type of instruction. With this research, they can then try to develop new and improved teaching techniques and learning methods in order to help those that are struggling with their education.
Another common duty of an educational psychologist is to evaluate and analyze certain teaching methods, testing methods, and educational programs. Studying these areas of education allows the psychologist to gain insight into any flaws or problems that may make it difficult for some people to learn.
Along with evaluating existing educational resources, an educational psychologist might also create and develop new ones, which make it easier for certain groups of people to learn. These resources might include textbooks, worksheets, lesson plans, tests, and instructional videos.
Many educational psychologists will specialize in the educational developments of a certain group of people. Some might focus of the education of children, for instance, while others might focus on adult learners. It is also not uncommon for an educational psychologist to focus on a particular type of learning problem or disability, such as dyslexia.
What Are the Education Requirements to Become a Educational Psychologist?
In order to start an educational psychology career, a person must first earn a four year Bachelor's degree in psychology. This type of degree is an excellent starting point, and it allows students to gain a deeper understanding of the basic fundamentals of psychology. Some of the courses that an aspiring educational psychologist might take may include educational psychology, developmental psychology, and early childhood education.
After earning a Bachelor's degree in psychology, most individuals pursuing an educational psychology career will then earn more advanced degrees. In order to have a successful educational psychology career, a Master's degree and Doctoral degrees in educational psychology are usually necessary.
If you are serious abut becoming a Educational Psychologist research programs in your area that are offering these degrees in our Find a School Section.
Where Does an Educational Psychologist Work?
There are job opportunities for educational psychologists all over the country.
Schools and educational institutions often work with these professionals in order to help improve their learning systems. Community organizations and learning centers also often work with educational psychologists as well. Educational psychologists might also work at government and private research centers.
What Is the Median Salary for an Educational Psychologist?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a group containing school psychologists earned a median annual salary of $72,540 in 2010. Those that worked in elementary schools earned a median salary of $71,070, and those that worked in individual and family services earned roughly $69,540.
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