The word, ‘Psychology’ is derived from the Greek words, “Psyche” and “Logos”. ‘Psyche’ means “Soul” and ‘Logos’ means “Science”. Thus psychology was first defined as the “Science of Soul”.
Educational Psychology is that branch of psychology in which the findings of psychology are applied in the field of education. It is the scientific study of human behavior in educational settings.
According to Skinner, “Educational Psychology deals with the behavior of human beings in educational situations”.
In the words of E.A. Peel,Educational psychology is the science of education .
According to Crow and Crow, “Educational psychology describes and explains the learning experience of the individual from birth to old age”.
In brief, educational psychology can be describe as the application of principles and laws of general psychology in solving various problems of education. It takes into account learning experiences, behavior and personality, changes in different stages of growth and development of an individual. It applies the scientific conclusion of the study to actual teaching learning situation in order to attain goals of education.
Nature of Educational Psychology
Educational Psychology is basically scientific in nature. It is because psychology from where educational psychology has been derived is purely scientific. However in order to have true nature of education, educational psychology, the following points are important;-
1. It is based on facts
Educational psychology is comprises a well organized, systematic, and relevant psychological laws and principles.
2. It search the truth
Educational psychology is always in search of the truth. It studies the behavior of the learner in relation to his educational environment and the results of its study are subject to further verification and modification.
3. It makes use of scientific methods
Educational psychology adopts scientific method to study the learner’s behavior. It formulates hypothesis, undertakes objective observation and investigation and makes use scientific methods.
4. It maintains validity and reliability
The processes and products of the studies of educational psychology are sufficiently scientific because it maintains a degree of objectivity, reliability and validity in conducting research.
5. No place of value and ideals
Like other sciences, educational psychology also does not concern with values and ideals.
Thus, it is very obvious that educational psychology is sufficiently scientific in nature. But unlike the natural science, educational psychology should be learned as an “Applied Behavioral Science” which basically deals with the behavior of the learner in the educational environment.
Scope of Educational Psychology
Educational Psychology is a very vast subject. It comprises the description and explanation of various aspects of psychology from birth to maturity.
As such, it encompasses a vast field. However, to ascertain vast field of educational psychology, the following points are enlisted:
1. A study of pupils mind:-Educational psychology deals with the study of the working of the pupils mind, specially the minds of children and adolescents. It studies the mental life of growing child in its various aspects.
2. A study of pupil’s behavior:- Educational Psychology includes the study of the behavior of pupils in its scope. Education aims at the modification of the behavior of the pupils and psychology may be defined as study of behavior. educational psychology guides the teacher in his effects in modifying the behavior of his pupils in most desirable way.
3. Growth and Development:- Educational psychology studies how a child posses through a various stages of growing development and what are the characteristics of its each stages.
4. Learning process:- Educational psychology includes the study of the laws and theories of life. educational psychology study how learning can take place most effectively and economically.
5. Development of personality:- Educational psychology deals with the nature and development of the personality of an individual.
6. Guidance and Counselling:- Educational psychology provides guidance and counselling to the needy children.
Besides, educational psychology also includes the study of heredity and environment, individual differences, attitudes, interests, maladjustments and remedies. So this studies clearly proof that scope and field of educational psychology is very broad and deep in nature.