Vital notes on the Nature and Scope of Educational Psychology

Nature of Educational Psychology:

Educational Psychology by its very nature is treated as a science. Like science it employs different objective methods of data collection, experiments and drawing inferences. It deals with the study of an organized and systematic body of knowledge concerning human behavior of all kinds. It seeks to make its subject matter scientific and exact by utilizing special means and appliances. It also aims at understanding, explaining, predicating and controlling facts and phenomena relating to human behavior.

(1) It is a social science

Educational psychology is a social science. Like any other social science it studies human beings relating to education. Like the economist, political scientist, sociologist or anthropologist, the educational psychologist conducts investigations and experiments, collects data and statistics, and makes interpretations and inferences. He does not work in an ivory tower nor makes any arm- chair speculations.

(2) It is an applied science

Educational psychology is an applied science. It applies the psychological principles and methods in the field of education. The knowledge about the growth and development of the child, learning conditions and theories belonging to the field of psychology is used for methods of teaching and school organization.

(3) It is a positive science

Educational psychology is a positive science which deals with things as they are. It is not a normative science which deals with things as should be. It studies the child's growth and development as they are. It never deals with what the child should do or should not do. This task is taken care of by ethics and philosophy which are normative sciences.

Scope of Educational Psychology:

Educational psychology is psychology in relation to education. It deals with the behavior of the individual in various educational environments. Psychology studies the behavior of the individual in different conditions and situations. Therefore, scope of general psychology is broader than that of educational psychology, which is comparatively limited.

Educational psychology deals with the child as a whole-his physical, mental, emotional and social development at various stages. Such development is resulted by heredity and environment, different biological, social and cultural factors. Hence all these aspect and factors come under the purview of educational, psychology.

Learning is the key-concept in educational psychology. It is so important and broad-based that educational psychology is also called learning psychology. The learning process, learning and maturation, nature and conditions of learning, factors influencing;, learning, motivation, attention and interest, various kinds of learning and laws of learning come under the scope of educational psychology.

The psychological principles underlying various methods of teaching, educational innovations and experiments, educational objectives, mental health and hygiene, special provisions for slow- learners, gifted, handicapped and deprived children are usefully applied to educational development. These are, therefore, part and parcel of educational psychology.

The psychological tools and techniques, methods and approaches are profitably used by the educational psychologists for undertaking research studies and experiments in various fields. New methods and techniques are also developed by them for collection, interpretation and analysis of data. All these constitute the scope of educational psychology.