A classroom teacher wants to face the challenges of the classroom in an easy and effective way. It is possible if the teacher understands the qualities and nature of child and human psychology. The subject Educational Psychology is also a challenging field through which different complex problems of educational system can be solved.
The knowledge of Educational Psychology has a great relevance for the teacher, because it helps the teacher to realize his objective of effective teaching and educating the pupils properly. Precisely speaking, the knowledge of Educational Psychology helps the teacher in the following ways:
(1) Understanding the child:
It has been rightly recognized that the teacher can truly teach the child only when he possesses the knowledge of child psychology individual as well as collective. For example, the teacher must know how children think; what are their interests at various stages of their development; and how their energies can best be utilized for educational purpose. In fact, all modifications in the techniques of teaching are really the growing application of the knowledge of psychology to the process of teaching learning.
(2) Understanding individual differences:
Previously it was presumes that all children are more or less alike and therefore, almost same speed of progress was expected of them. Moreover, it was also thought that the mind of the child is just like a clean state and therefore, anything could be written on it.
Now, from the knowledge of psychology, we understand that there are marked differences among the children, and every child is endowed with specific potentialities by nature, which the teacher can only help to develop. In this lies a marked contribution of psychology to the process of education and teaching.
(3) Making use of children’s instincts:
Instincts are the springs of action. True education lies in the sublimation of the instincts. It is only from the knowledge of psychology that the teacher comes to know about the various instincts of the individuals and the ways and means by which these can be sublimated or properly channelized for the development of the pupils.
(4) Formulation of attainable goals:
In fact, the formulation of the goals or objectives of education in the purview of philosophy are likely to set very idealistic goals, which may be rather impossible to attain. Psychology helps to keep those goals within the reasonable and attainable limits. Thus, psychology helps the teacher to formulate realistic goals of education.
(5) Providing knowledge about the laws of learning:
Teaching can be defined as causing the children to learn. The knowledge of psychology enlightens the teacher about the ways and means in which learning can take place in the best possible manner. Thus, knowledge of psychology helps the teacher to devise such methods and techniques of teaching which are according to the laws of learning.
(6) Providing knowledge of potentialities:
Every child in endowed with potentialities, which differ from individual to individual. Psychology helps the teacher to know and assess the potentialities of the individuals and guides them accordingly. Without assessing the potentialities of children, all efforts of the teacher will simply be misguided. Any programme of education should, in fact, depend upon the correct estimate of the potentialities of the individual child.
(7) Providing knowledge of heredity and environmental forces:
An individual is the product of heredity and environment. Both play a prominent part in the all-round development of an individual. The knowledge of psychology enlightens the teacher about their relative contribution towards the development of individual.
(8) Providing knowledge about rewards and punishment:
Rewards and punishment and considered to be the important tools in the hands of a teacher to modify the behavior of the pupils. Psychology studies this problem in depth and enlightens the teacher about the respective efficacy of both and the teacher comes to know that only a judicious use of these is desirable. Rewards and encouragement definitely give better result.
(9) Providing knowledge about mental abnormalities:
The aim of education is the development of a balanced and well-adjusted personality. But there may be a number of causes which lead to mental abnormalities in the pupils. The knowledge about their causes may help the teacher to take effective measures to avoid or correct them. In this way, the knowledge of psychology is of great help to the teachers as well as to the pupils.
(10) Realization of the teacher’s own role:
Psychology sheds great light on the fact that the teacher’s own attitude plays a fundamental role in the proper development and learning of the pupils. The teacher must treat the child psychology in the light of the knowledge that has been provided by psychology to him. This will go a long way in realizing the objective of education.
It is Educational Psychology, which can equip the teacher with necessary skills and competence to meet the various problems of the classroom successfully. The sound knowledge of Educational Psychology is quite essential for a teacher.