Psychology might easily be one of the most misunderstood fields, with most people assuming it to be all about abnormal psychology. In actuality, this is one of the fields with the most relevance to our everyday life across all aspects. Psychological factors underlie all of our everyday interactions, whether with family, coworkers, strangers, teachers, or students. So, there isn’t a single field that is exempt from understanding and implementing psychological interventions.
Human psychology significantly influences architecture, engineering, and medicine, and education is no different. Teaching is a job that needs to rely heavily on psychological information if you want to make a lasting impact on your students. Whether teaching younger or older children, taking on psychological principles can make the classes more engaging.
Read below to learn more about how psychology matters in the educational system.
1. Tailor Education To Each Student
One of the biggest issues with a flawed educational system can be that it aims to implement a ‘one size fits all’ method for all students. Although this can be convenient, the reality is that every student has multiple intelligences and unique learning needs, and without understanding them, it can be impossible to ensure effective teaching. However, if you aren’t well-versed in psychological principles, it can be challenging for you to understand every student individually.
Opting for an advanced degree is the best way to prepare yourself to handle the needs of different learners in your classroom. If you want to develop an inclusive, welcoming environment for every student, a degree in educational psychology is just the thing. If you’re already serving in the professional world, stepping back into the classroom might seem like a hassle. However, with an online masters in educational psychology, you can learn how to implement psychology in the classroom at your own pace. This online degree is super comprehensive and can help you develop in-depth knowledge of the best teaching styles to implement.
2. Create A Positive Learning Environment
You’ll be surprised to learn just how much the environment can matter when it comes to learning. Just as the environment can affect our mood and emotions, it can also affect productivity, learning, and retention. If you don’t focus on your learning environment, it doesn’t matter how well-crafted your lessons are – they’ll fail to affect your students.
With in-depth knowledge of educational psychology, you can be better equipped to create an environment that facilitates learning and educational development. Some factors that can create a positive learning environment include a well-lit space with adequate greenery, age-appropriate illustrations, and flashcards to prompt memory and retention. Additionally, it’s also about creating an environment where your students feel safe and respected. Listening to your student’s concerns, be it in an academic or personal capacity, is vital to aiding learning. It can also include being receptive to any concerns such as bullying, harassment, or any other negative influence which can impact your students.
3. Can Help You Better Assess The Effectiveness
Many times, teachers can bring in new learning methods without having any way of evaluating effectiveness. Without judging what makes learning methods effective or ineffective, you won’t be able to bring enough change to your teaching environment. Educational psychology can give you all the tips and tricks to look for the right signs of an effective learning environment.
Psychology can teach you to pick up on small and bigger cues that help you identify whether your students are taking on board your teaching protocols. It can help you identify engagement and receptiveness without resorting to more in-your-face methods, such as tests or teacher assessments, which are often inaccurate indicators. When assessing behavioral cues, you can alter your performance immediately rather than waiting for solid feedback. Moreover, it can help you get supplemental information to help adjust your teaching methods.
4. Develop Better Lesson Plans
Although lesson plans aren’t the only factor to consider in an educational setting, they are among the most important. Lesson plans help define the classroom structure and lay out what activities and topics you’ll be engaging in and covering for the rest of the school year. If you’re sticking to tried and tested lesson plans, you might feel like you’re taking the most effective route. However, lesson plans developed keeping in mind psychological factors can often be the most effective choice.
Most lesson plans that don’t consider student psychology can easily become repetitive and dull and, beyond a particular point, can be difficult for students to tolerate. Thus, as the year progresses, you might see the students losing more and more of their interest and failing to perform. However, educational psychology can help you develop effective lesson plans that revitalize even the dullest subjects. By simply breaking up the monotony and introducing video, audio, presentations, and more to your lessons, you can make learning a much more engaging experience. Moreover, doing so can help you cater to every learner and boost overall class performance immensely.
5. Understand Developmental Levels
One of the core concepts of psychology is understanding developmental levels and the achievement and milestones common for each one. Child development can be incredibly complex, and certain milestones can indicate if the child has normal development. These milestones can indicate development in various facets, such as language acquisition, movement, learning, memory, etc.
Without understanding developmental milestones, it can be challenging for teachers to assess how effective their teaching methods are and whether they’re even age appropriate. Moreover, it can also help you assess the normal levels of academic achievement and whether all the students are meeting them. If they aren’t, there may be other issues at play. These can include issues keeping up with the curriculum and learning needs not being met, and can even extend to issues at home or learning disabilities. Understanding such aspects can help you be more attuned to your student’s needs.
Making education effective for all can be tough, but not if you keep psychological principles in mind. Educational psychology can help ensure every student has a chance to excel and reach their potential. By understanding these principles, you can revolutionize your classroom and make sure everyone benefits. If you lack the skills, opting for an online degree in educational psychology will suffice to learn the ropes and create an effective classroom learning environment.