The knowledge of Educational Psychology has a great relevance for the teacher because it helps the teacher to realise his objective of effective teaching and educating the pupils properly.
There are three focal points of education. These are: the learner, the learning process and the learning situation. The learner or the child is the first concern of the teacher. In order to know the child, the teacher must understand the psychology of the child’s growth and development, including his environment and if possible, his heredity. Again, the learner and the learning process are inter-related.
Educational Psychology tells how the learning process goes on. Hence the utility of the knowledge of Educational Psychology for a teacher thirdly, there is the learning situation which the teacher must take into consideration. This includes the school, the class-room environment, the objectives to be achieved, and parental expectations and so on. These focal points of education demand that the knowledge of Educational Psychology is essential for a teacher.
Precisely speaking, the knowledge of Educational Psychology is imporant for the teacher in the following ways-
1. Understanding the child.
2. Understanding individual differences.
3. Making use of the children’s instincts.
4. Formulation of attainable goals.
5. Provides knowledge about the laws of learning.
6. Provides knowledge of potentialities.
7. Provides knowledge of the hereditary and environmental forces.
8. Provides knowledge about the efficacy of rewards and punishments.
9. Provides knowledge about mental abnormalities. 10. Realisation of the teacher’s own role.
1. Understanding the Child
It has been rightly recognised 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 their interests at various stages of their development are and how their energies can best be utilised for educational purposes.
In fact, all modifica- tions in the techniques of teaching are really the result of growing application of the knowledge of psychology to the process of teaching and learning.
2. Understanding Individual Differences
Previously it was presumed 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 slate and therefore, the teacher thought that just 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 potentially 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. Understanding and Making use of the 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 individual and the ways and means by which those 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 is likely to set very idealistic goals which it may be rather impossible to attain. Psychology helps to keep those goals within reasonable and attainable limits. Thus, psychology helps the teacher to formulate realistic goals of education.
5. Provides Knowledge about the Laws of Learning
Teaching can best 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 as are according to the laws of learning.
6. Provides Knowledge of Potentialities
Every child is endowed with potentialities which, of course, vary 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 individual children.
7. Provides Knowledge of Hereditary and Environmental Forces.
An individual is the product of heredity and environment. The knowledge of psychology enlightens the teacher about their relative contributions towards the development of the individual.
8. Provides Knowledge about the Efficiency of Rewards and Punishments.
Rewards and punishments are considered to be important tools in the hands of teacher to modify the behavior of the pupils. Psychology studies this problem in depth and enlightens the teacher about the respective efficacy of both. The teacher comes to know that only a judicious use of these is desirable. Rewards and encouragements definitely give better results.
9. Provides 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 these 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 the pupils.
10. Realisation of the Teacher’s own Role.
Psychology sheds great light on the fact that the teacher’s own attitude plays fundamental role in the proper development and learning of pupils. The teacher must treat the children psychologically, i.e., in the light of the knowledge that has been provided by psychology to him. This will go a long way in realising the objectives of education.
Thus, we may conclude by saying that the knowledge of Educational psychology has a great relevance for the teacher. Teaching has been more or less psychologies in the modern times, and therefore, it is impossible to imagine a teacher doing justice to the process of teaching without the knowledge of educational psychology, which is a must and of immense help to him/her.