Educational psychology is about studying how people learn. This includes understanding all the methods that help an individual’s learning process, starting from teaching methods to individual differences. The idea is to understand how people learn and retain information. Researchers while researching on this topic consider specific factors that impact learning. Factors such as learned behaviour, cognitive experiences, etc. are said to be the main factors which influence learning and hence act as the main perspective of studying. Let’s understand them one by one.
The behavioural perspective, which is also known as operant conditioning, believes that all behaviour is learned through conditioning.
For example, parents and teachers reward their kids if they behave in a certain way. They may reward them with chocolates and toys if the desirable behaviour is acted on. The opposite is also true for punishment when behaving badly. According to this perspective, children learn when they are rewarded for good behaviour and punished for bad.
Although this is an important viewpoint, many have criticised it, claiming that if children are rewarded every time they do something, they will not do anything without reward.
The Developmental Perspective
How children grow intellectually was one of Jean Piaget’s developmental theories where he studied stages of development among children. This focuses on understanding how children learn different skills as they grow. Children think differently at each stage. If the way they think and changes in the thinking process are understood, then teaching materials can be prepared accordingly.
From a cognitive perspective, factors like memories, beliefs, emotions, and motivations are included as these are considered to be the main elements that contribute towards learning. This perspective mainly aims towards understanding how people think, memorise, and analyse information.
This is said to be one of the most important perspectives in educational psychology, and researchers researching on this topic are mainly engaged in understanding how children learn and remember what they learn.
This perspective aims to understand how we construct knowledge based on what we already know. Psychotherapist Lev Vygotsky came up with the idea that if a child is with a more learned adult or friend, the learning of the child would be greater compared to what would have happened if he/she had learned alone.
Every time we learn something, we try to construct something according to what we learned or understood. Constructive learning tries to understand how we construct learning.
Educational Psychology aims at understanding how learning takes place within people and how we can come up with new strategies or models that can help educators serve kids better in the learning process.