The Psychological foundations of Education form the key basis of education. Nearly at every stage in Educational process, we are confronted with psychology. Philosophy deals with the morality, spirituality, and epistemological aspect of education and it is educational sociology which shoulders the responsibility of looking after all social fields of education.
The definition of educational psychology, Per Se, refers to the determination of its boundaries and functions, explaining its true nature and meaning. Educational psychology is a combination of two words education and psychology.
Thus, in order to understand the true meaning of the word we have to first understand their meaning separately. Literally the term Education has its origin from the Latin word ‘Educare’ which means to raise, to bring up, to bring forth, and to lead out. Thus education refers to all-around development, i.e., to develop a total human being with all its faculties alive
While, Psychology is the positive science of behaviour which deals with ‘what is’ of human behaviour
Thus educational psychology gets its meaning from education which is a kind of social process and from psychology which is a behavioural science. Different psychologists have defined it in different forms.
According to Trow, ‘Educational Psychology in the study of the psychological aspects of educational situations
According to Crow and Crow, ‘Educational Psychology describes and explains the learning experiences of an individual from birth of old age.” Kolesnkik defines educational psychology as, ‘the application of findings and theories of psychology in the field of education.’
According to Skinner, ‘Educational Psychology is the branch of psychology which deals with teaching and learning. It takes its meaning from education – a social process and from psychology – a behavioural science.
Educational psychology is concerned with the behaviour of human beings in educational situations and with study of human personality, growth, development, guidance, etc. under the social process of education.
To quote Telford, ‘The major concern of educational psychology is learning. It is that field of psychology which is primarily concerned with the scientific investigation of the psychological aspects of education.”
Judd observes, ‘Educational Psychology may be defined as the science which describes and explains the changes that take place in individuals as they pass through various stages of life.
Educational Psychology, which is a branch of science itself, is based on the following grounds:
C. Classification of facts
E. Scientific method of study
G. Finding the cause and effect
Apart from this educational psychology is concerned with the ‘what is’ of human behaviour in educational situation and not with ‘what should be’ of human behaviour as normative science does.
It studies the students’ behaviour as found in educational situation in the context of growth, development, personality and provides guidance too. Hence it is more an applied positive science based on the aims and principles of educational philosophy.
It applies psychology as a technical device in understanding the behaviour in educational situations with the application of psychological principles to know the cause and effect of behaviour in educational situations, to analyses the behaviour, to predict behaviour and to provide guidance.
Develop interest in students for the subject-matter, maintain good mutual relationship with the students and make teaching – learning easy and effective.
Educational psychology also deals with the study of individual difference. The knowledge of individual differences helps to know its length about the physical differences, personality differences, difference in thoughts, intelligence, motor abilities, interests, attitudes, aptitudes, reasoning, imagination, memory, skills, emotional expressions and specific abilities, etc. The knowledge of individual difference help in the selection of appropriate teaching method and make teaching learning and effective easy and effective.
Measurement and evaluation are also included within the ambit of educational psychology, Measurement helps to characterise the status of a phenomenon as precisely as possible and evaluation. On the other hand it helps to characterise the worth or value of a phenomenon with reference to some social cultural or scientific.
It helps the teacher to measure the students, interests, aptitude, intelligence, etc. and select appropriate ways of teaching and also evaluate as to what extent the teaching-learning has been effective. It helps in selection and classification of the students, in comparing between the students, in prediction, etc. It also helps in evaluating the teacher.
Learning is the key topic of educational psychology. The presumed generality of the laws of learning facilitates research on child rearing and education. The methods and theories evolved in learning help to intensive analysis of knowledge acquisition. It also helps in the understanding of memory, problem solving, sensory motor tasks, reinforcement, transfer of training, motivation and different
Education Psychology is applied psychology and it can be put to use and to obtain help in the teaching process by the teacher as given below:
(a) The interest, aptitudes, attitudes and other innate and acquired traits of the students.
(b) To know the developmental stages of the students and learn about the advancement, progressive changes and maturity level.
(c) To know about the physical, emotional and social needs and the dimensions of development.
(d) To know about the intelligence.
(e) To know about the aspiration level.
(f) To know about the thoughts, reasoning, memory imaginations, skills and other specific abilities.
(g) To know about the motivated behaviour.
(h) To know about the progress in performance.
(i) To know about the mental health.
(j) To know about individual and group behaviour.
States of cognitive competence it has much practical implications also. As such it has been considered as one of the most important issue for understanding the child and occupies an important place in educational psychology.
Educational psychology also aims at providing guidance. By guidance, it enables the students to make for better adjustment and solve the problems, to develop the potential for personal happiness and social use, to enrich their performances and help in the attainment of goal.