What is educational psychology?
Educational psychologists use their expert knowledge of psychology and teaching practices to help improve educational provision for people in a range of learning environments. These guys research and assess teaching practices in schools and then offer expert guidance to help improve education schemes, teaching methods and student-teacher interaction.
Educational psychologists play an important role in the education and development of many people. Each case brings new challenges and every day offers new situations that need to be assessed and managed in different ways.
In many circumstances, educational psychologists work with children who have learning and behavioural difficulties, and must be prepared to deal with these challenges in a professional and fluid manner. Sometimes, simple changes to learning environments and teaching methods can provide great help for students that have learning difficulties and behavioural difficulties.
Sometimes, educational psychologists may also deal with people who are considered to be ‘highly gifted’ in different aspects of their learning and development. Consequently, educational psychologists may make recommendations that will improve the educational provision for these talented individuals.
An educational psychologist’s views and assessments can have far reaching consequences on individuals’ lives. It is not uncommon for an educational psychologist to give assessments in court, or before local authorities, that may result in children having to move schools or live in a different environment. In some cases, this might even mean moving away from their parents or guardians. If you're ready to handle that responsibility, and think you could handle a graduate job in this challenging field, read on,
What options do I have for an educational psychology career?
Whether you want to concentrate on research and policy or deal directly with individuals, there are several options open to you.
Sometimes education psychologists work directly with individuals, whilst other times they follow a less direct approach and offer guidance through teachers or guardians. On a daily basis, these guys might be making reports, carrying out assessments and suggesting solutions that identify appropriate teaching methods or learning environments for students. The differing nature of each case means that you will need to be flexible in your methods and approaches.
You will also be required to work with a wide range of different people and have the ability to explain complex concepts in a simple and straightforward manner. These careers can be frustrating at times; for example, you may have to implement your plans and proposals through a teacher who has little understanding of your methods. Since people react in different ways, you may need to change your approach several times.
You may also come across difficult situations, which can sometimes be sad or disturbing. However, these careers can be incredibly rewarding, as you will be improving the lives of many people, giving them the opportunity to progress in a way that would otherwise not be possible.
Many people find work within local authorities, but there is also the possibility to do freelance work too. Some people focus on the research side of things, whilst others concentrate on aspects such as educational policy-making.
As your expertise and interests develop, you may find that your transferrable skills allow your career to move into new areas or branches of psychology. It will be difficult to progress in this field without a relevant degree, so this is certainly something you should consider if you are looking to pursue a career in educational psychology.
Do you find yourself wondering about how and why people’s brains tick in the varying ways that they do? Are you, at the same time, interested in working in education? If so, why not consider a fascinating and highly satisfying career in educational psychology?