Educational psychology is a branch of applied psychology concerned with teaching and learning. It also studies various ways for describing and improving teaching pedagogy and learning methodology. In 1987, Glover and Ronning studied historical literature in accordance with educational psychology. They highly recommended that educational psychology should include subjects related to human development, measurement, individual differences, motivation, and learning. These factors should be reviewed based on both data and theoretical explanations. Hence the ideal definition of educational psychology is application of psychology along with psychological methods for the developmental study, motivation, learning, instruction, assessment and other relevant issues that have the potential to impact the process of learning and teaching. This definition is vast enough to accommodate various possibilities and learning processes that can evolve through studies.
Educational psychology comprises the study and observation of how various people learn, outcomes of learning, process of instruction, learning disabilities and individual learning differences. It also deals with research on learning processes during early childhood and teenage years and the impact of social, cognitive and economic processes on learning throughout life. Depending upon the type of study, educational psychology is further divided into:
The teacher must have thorough knowledge about the students in order to teach skillfully. He or she must be aware of the needs, potential, differences and characteristics of each student. When a teacher teaches in a class, he or she comes in contact with many students at one time. Many students can be exceptional depending upon their exclusive ability to grasp a particular subject, and inherent talent. In the same class, there can be students with sensory handicaps, behavioral disorders, communication disorders, impairments related to physique and health, mental retardation or learning disabilities. Hence a teacher must possess complete knowledge about the positive and negative points of these students in order to customize teaching methodology.
Understanding the learning process is considered a priority in educational psychology. Different studies have provided various examples and theoretical explanations of learning processes that can be converted into practical applications. Cognitive learning analysis helps to identify current requirements of teaching and learning. Educational psychology is a must so that the teachers understand the impact of their teaching methods.
Teaching instruction is one of the main concepts of educational psychology. The teacher has to develop various instructional strategies that interest the students and enable them to understand the intricacies of a particular topic being taught. Other factors include classroom management, focus on teaching aids, circumstances of learning, and the surroundings in which the teaching is being conducted. In the past few years, research in educational psychology has been influential in delivering various techniques that have contributed to new skills and knowledge in the field of teaching. As of today, assessment strategies have become popular for the following reasons: