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Have you ever wondered if there is a science behind how children learn in the educational system?

Educational psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on the intersection between learning and psychological processes. In other words, educational psychologists study how people learn and how this process can be improved.

Learn more about what this practice is all about here.

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What is educational psychology?

Educational psychology is the scientific study of how people learn in educational contexts. It is a subfield of psychology and education and has been recognized as an official specialty by the American Psychological Association since 1981.

Educational psychologists study many different topics related to learning, including cognition, motivation, language development, and literacy skills. They also research methods for teaching students with various types of disabilities or special needs, which require assistance from other professionals to succeed in school environments.

An important part of educational psychology involves creating new knowledge based on research data collected from experiments that test theories about how people learn best or fail to learn at all. In this way, it strives to help improve teaching practices so that each child can reach his or her full potential, and this is why schools can keep on providing the best, most up-to-date systems that are scientifically stated to work.

What does an educational psychologist do?

You will work with children and their families as an educational psychologist to address various issues. This could include helping students with emotional or behavioral problems, working with parents concerned about their child’s academic performance, or assisting teachers who need help resolving classroom conflicts between students.

As a professional working in this field, you might be responsible for the following:

  • Assessing and providing recommendations on the effectiveness of interventions used within schools to help improve student behavior.
  • Working directly with students with learning disabilities or attention deficit disorders, such as ADD and ADHD.
  • Performing psychological testing to assess cognitive ability, personality traits, and other factors that can impact learning abilities.

Through your research on how humans learn best through childhood development into adulthood, you may also assist in developing methods for teaching new skills, like math skills, based on individual strengths instead of just teaching from a textbook.

How to apply educational psychology

People who work in educational psychology are known as “educational psychologists”. They study all the social, emotional, and cognitive processes involved in learning and apply these findings to the real-world setting – schools. Some choose to specialize in a specific type of child, such as those with developmental disabilities. Some work with adults only, while some prefer not to branch out until years after they have been in the role.

As a professional, they will also be interested in applying teaching methods in the school setting to help those within it learn better. For example, if their studies suggest that children learn better during a certain time of the day, they might suggest that learning schedules are changed to adapt to this finding. This might then achieve better results from students or pupils.

These professionals also work in various settings themselves; they don’t all have to be in schools. They also have positions in government research offices, community projects, and even learning centers.

How do you become an educational psychologist?

To become an educational psychologist, you first need to get a degree. These demonstrate the skills you have learned and what you can contribute to the ongoing research.

A master’s in educational psychology is usually a step for budding researchers to take. You can do these at a university anywhere in the USA or even study abroad.

You might need to enroll in a doctorate in educational psychology, which requires a four-to-six-year commitment. These will open you up to further opportunities deeper into the field, including positions within a university setting or with the government.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, you can earn around $72,000 per annum, but this can vary depending on what sector you work in. Individual and family services employees tend to receive slightly less payout of the sectors, and those specializing in schools can receive up to $71,000.

The benefits of educational psychology

There are lots of positive attributes that come with doing educational psychology as a living, such as:

  • Great real-world applications in which you are contributing to an ongoing cause that has little risk of folding.
  • Helping children and adults alike achieve fantastic learning results.
  • Exercise your love for research with opportunities for independent studies on your interests in the field.
  • Getting to work in fantastic settings, such as government and university institutions, where you can push your connections with others and enjoy the company of fellow psychologists.

Amongst many more factors, you should look at a career in this industry if you think the benefits might be a good fit for you and your lifestyle.

Overall, your career in educational psychology will be highly rewarding and will immerse you in an environment unlike no other where you can make a real difference to the world around you. To find out more about it, visit our website.