Educational Psychology

Concept of educational Psychology
What is psychology? The term \”psychology\” is derived from two Greek words – psyche (soul) and logos (science or study). Thus, literally it means study or science of soul. But now it is no more considered as science of soul. It has moved away from this focus and established itself as a scientific discipline which deals with the various processes and behavior of organism. Most of the contemporary psychologists agree on a definition of psychology as the scientific study of behavior and mental processes of organism.
There are three key terms in the above definition of psychology which have been clarified below: Scientific study means using techniques such as observation, description, and experimental investigation to collect information and then organizing this information. Mental processes refer to private and cognitive process such as attention, perception, remembering (memory), problem-solving, reasoning, decision-making, feelings, thinking, motives etc.
Definitions of Psychology • Psychology is the science of the activities of individual in relation to the environment (Woodworth). • Psychology is the positive science of behaviour (Watson). • Psychology is the science of human behavior and experience (Cruze). • Psychology is the science of mental activity of an organism (Guilford). • According to Charles E. Skinner, psychology deals with the responses to any and every kind of situation that life presents. By responses or behaviour is meant all forms of processes, adjustments, activities, and experiences of the organism.
Behaviour refers to all the actions or reactions of an organism (person or animal) in response to external or internal stimuli. The behavior of an individual, in a broad sense, refers to anything the individual does. According to Leagans (1961), behavior refers to what an individual knows (Knowledge), what s/he can do (skill – mental or physical), what s/he thinks (attitude), and what s/he actually does.
Behaviour may be simple or complex, short or enduring. Human behavior may be overt (expressed outside) or covert (expressed inside). While symbolic adoption is an example of covert behaviour, use adoption is an example of overt behavior. Both overt and covert behaviour can be measured. People who study psychological phenomena are not necessarily limited to the study of human beings only; they also study the behaviour of animals. They study the behavior and mental processes of individual not of group/community. Thus, when they are studying groups, the focus is generally on how individuals perform within the group rather than the study of the group as a whole.
What is education? In order to know the educational psychology; we have to first understand what is education. The world education is derived from Latin word educare which means to bring-up. Education is also derived from another Latin world educere which means to lead out. Education as educere is more acceptable as it means leading an individual from ignorance to knowledge.
Education can be defined as the process of imparting or acquiring knowledge and habits through instruction or study. It can also be defined as a process in which human behaviour is modified so as to be in closer agreement with some model or ideal determined by the values of society. If education is to be effective, it should result in changes in all the behavioural components.
What is educational psychology?
Educational Psychology is a combination or overlapping of two separate fields of study; psychology and education. It is a distinct discipline with its own theories, research methods, problems and techniques. Educational psychology is distinct from other fields of psychology due to its focus on understanding the processes of teaching and learning that takes place in formal environments. Educational psychologists study what people think and do as they teach and learn a particular curriculum in a particular environment where education and training are intended to take place. They help in developing instructional methods and materials used to train people in both educational and work settings. They are also concerned with research on issues of relevance for education, counseling and learning problems.
Educational psychology deals with behavior of human beings in educational situation for definitions of educational psychology). This means that educational psychology is concerned with the study of human behavior or human personality, its growth, development, guidance under the social process of education. Education is possible in human beings; hence, human learning is the central core of educational psychology.
Definitions of Educational Psychology
• Educational psychology is that branch of psychology, which deals with teaching and learning. It takes its meaning from education, social process and from psychology, a behavioral science (Skinner).
• Educational Psychology is the discipline concerned with teaching and learning processes; applies the methods and theories of psychology and has its own as well (Woolfolk, 1995).
Educational psychology deals with the behaviour of human beings in educational situations. Its main concerned is to identify various psychological factors affecting teaching and learning process. It describes and explains the learning according to scientifically determined principles and facts concerning human behaviour. Educational psychology addresses the questions – “why do some individual learn more than others\” and \”what can be done to improve that learning.\” Therefore, its subject matter is revolved around teaching and learning process and educational psychologists attempt to discover:
• The extent to which the factors of heredity and environment contribute to learning.
• The nature of the learning process.
• The educational significance of individual differences in rate and limit of learning.
• The inner change that occur during learning.
• The relation of teaching procedures to leaning outcomes.
• The most effective techniques for evaluating progress in learning.
• The relative effect upon an individual of formal learning as compared with incidental or informal learning experiences.
• To value the scientific attitude towards education.
• The psychological impact upon learner’s attitude of sociological conditions.
The importance of educational psychology in agricultural extension is immense as both disciplines deal with human behavior in educational environment. Following are the some of the reasons which explain the importance of educational psychology in agricultural extension.
• Educational psychology helps the extension agent to know the learner, his interest, attitudes, aptitude, level of aspiration, intelligence, interests, individual behavior in group, etc. which plays a major role in one\’s learning.
• Its main concern is on teaching and learning. This helps in formulating training programmes for improving the knowledge and skill of extension agent and farmers. It also helps in selection of teaching methods and aids for organizing effective learning situations and suggests technique of learning as well as teaching.
• It helps in imparting better education by organizing the subject matter of learning experience, preparation of different text books, development of assessment patterns, etc for heterogeneous learners.
• Educational psychology helps in acquainting learner with the mechanism of heredity and environment.
• It also deals with the problem-solving which is very important for extension agent to develop problem-solving skills amongst farmers.
• It helps extension agent to find causes of prejudices, the habit of sticking to old practices of farming and ways of doing things, the doubts and lack of confidence and factors affecting motivation.
• It also helps them to know the emotions and feelings of learner
Need and importance of the study of educational psychology for the teachers
1.    Understand the developmental characteristics of the children
2.    Understand the nature of class-room learning
3.    To be aware of individual differences
4.    Be aware with effective teaching methods
5.    Understand the learning problems of the children
6.    Know how to assess the learning outcomes of the students
7.    Understand the principles of curriculum constructions.
8.    Know the factors responsible for the mental ill-health and maladjustment.
9.    Predict the behaviour of students on the basis of research studies.
10. Organize educational activities for exceptional students.
11. Help students develop positive attitude.
12. Understand student’s dynamics.
13. Organize remedial instructional activities for children facing special difficulties.
14. Know the nature of motivation in learning.
15. Be aware of the possibilities and limitations of transfer of learning.
16. Be familiar with the conditions associated with juvenile delinquency.
17. Be aware of the causes of emotional disturbance in children.
18. Make use of innovations particularly relating to method.
19. Handle the problems of discipline in the classroom.
20. Keep psychological considerations in framing of time table.