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Methods of Educational Psychology - A Guide

Introduction

Educational psychology refers to the study of how people tend to learn and retain information. It involves studying the differences in the learning methods of every individual, and the various teaching methods and instructional processes used. Educational psychologists study the childhood and adolescent learning processes and consider the external factors and behavioral aspects that can affect how a student learns.

Educational psychology aims to improve the teaching processes and help teachers learn how learning takes place and what teaching methods should be used to promote learning in classrooms. It also helps teachers use innovative learning methods to improve the way education is imparted in classrooms.

It involves the study of human behavior systematically and scientifically. The study requires the use of scientific methods to collect and organize the required information. There are 6 main methods used in educational psychology. The next section discusses these 6 methods in detail.

Top Methods of Educational Psychology

Given below are the 6 main methods of educational psychology that are used to collect and organize data regarding human behavior -

Introspection

It is a traditional method of study used in psychology. It involves looking inward and determining what thoughts come to our minds. It is a method of self-observation where the student observes what he or she feels and experiences while trying to recall something. For example, when students observe the thoughts and feelings that they encounter while trying to recall the answer to a question and report them, this method is known as introspection. The reflections on this provided by the students cannot be verified by psychologists. Hence, it is known as an unscientific method. It helps in understanding human psychology and the reason behind the behavior of an individual.

The Observational Method

This is one of the most popular methods of educational psychology. Unlike introspection, where the individual engages in self-observation, someone else observes the behavioral patterns and changes of the individual. The psychologist can observe the changes in speech, facial expressions, behavior, actions, and gestures under different situations and take note of them.

The observational method helps psychologists form generalizations regarding human behavior by identifying similarities in their behavior. Forming generalizations helps the teachers formulate a single effective method for increasing classroom engagement.

One of the major difficulties with this method is that the subject can become conscious of the presence of the psychologist near them. This could affect the individual’s behavior and expressions. The introduction of online education management platforms like Teachmint can help a great deal in observing the learner’s behavior without letting them know about it.

Experimental Method

Experimental is one of the most significant methods of educational psychology. It involves experimenting with the behavior of an individual in different situations in a controlled environment. In other words, the environment in which the subject is exposed is kept constant throughout the experiment and only one variable is changed to determine the impact of this variable on the individual’s behavior. Rather than using natural conditions, the researcher controls the situation in an experimental method and observes human behavior.

For example, if the researcher wants to study the impact of temperature on the student’s behavior, all other things except the temperature will be kept constant. Here, the student’s behavior is the dependent variable, and the room temperature is the independent variable.

The experimental method is a scientific method that is valid, and its results can be verified. Moreover, the results of the experimental method can be generalized and applied universally. But at the same time, it is also very time-consuming and expensive.

Clinical Method

The clinical method, also known as a case study method, is a type of practice that is focused on a particular individual. The purpose of a clinical study is not to find general human behavioral patterns but to understand the problems or reason behind the behavior of a certain individual and find a treatment for the individual.

For example, if a student is facing difficulty in paying attention in the classroom and constantly getting bad grades, educational psychologists can use the clinical method. It will involve tracking the child’s history, family and health, and relationships with friends and family. The process generally starts with an assumption that is proved or disproved based on the data collected through case histories, interviews, visits to the home, etc.

The Developmental or Genetic Method

The developmental method of educational psychology believes the adult behavior of an individual is the more complex version of their childhood behavior and experiences. This method emphasizes that the reason behind the adult behavior pattern of an individual can be identified by investigating their childhood behavior and getting to the root. The study of the individual's history of behavior can help understand their learning behavior and understand the reason behind it.

Testing Method

The testing method of educational psychology involves conducting a variety of tests on individuals to determine their behavioral patterns. Psychological tests, educational tests, checklists, rating scales, and questionnaires are often used as significant methods of evaluating and investigating the individual’s behavior and personality.

Rating scales can be used by psychologists to find out if a student possesses a particular trait. Psychological tests can help identify the intellect of an individual and determine their aptitude towards certain subjects. These tests can shed light on the individual’s aptitude. Some schools and colleges are also using these tests to select candidates for educational programs.

Educational psychology shows how individuals learn and retain information. Methods of learning in psychology examine the unique approaches of each person. The aim is to enhance teaching processes by understanding learning mechanisms, teaching methods, and external factors influencing student learning.

What are the 6 Main Methods of Educational Psychology?

1. Introspection:

Introspection is a traditional method of self-observation where individuals reflect on their thoughts and feelings during activities such as recalling answers. Despite being unscientific and lacking verification, introspection provides valuable insights into human psychology and behaviour.

2. Observational Method:

The observational method entails an external observer noting behavioural patterns. This is one of the methods of learning in psychology too aids in forming generalizations about human behavior by identifying similarities in actions, speech, and facial expressions. However, a major challenge lies in the subject becoming aware of the observer's presence, which can influence their behaviour. Online platforms like Teachmint address this issue by providing unobtrusive observation opportunities.

3. Experimental Method:

The experimental method involves controlled experiments, manipulating variables to observe their impact on behaviour. While scientifically valid and providing verifiable results, this method is time-consuming and expensive. As a part of unskippable methods of educational psychology offers insights into controlled learning environments, making it applicable to educational psychology.

4. Clinical Method:

The clinical method, also known as a case study method, focuses on understanding the behaviour of specific individuals in methods of learning in psychology. Rather than seeking generalizations, it focuses on individual histories, relationships, and health to identify the root causes behind the behaviour. It is particularly useful for addressing specific problems faced by individuals.

5. Developmental or Genetic Method:

The developmental methods of educational psychology show that adult behaviour is a more complex version of childhood behaviour. By exploring childhood experiences, this method provides insights into adult behaviour patterns, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of learning patterns.

6. Testing Method:

The testing method involves conducting various assessments, including psychological tests, educational tests, checklists, rating scales, and questionnaires. These evaluations help investigate individual behaviour and personality, measuring traits, intellect, and aptitude. 

Methods of educational psychology don't work on their own, the right combination of each method applied with discipline can do wonders for students.

Wrapping up

Hope this article helped you understand what educational psychology is and what are the main methods of educational psychology. These methods can play an effective role in helping teachers improve classroom learning if applied correctly.
Sometimes, students can feel shy or nervous to clarify their doubts in front of the entire class, which can affect their learning. The live chat features provided by online education platforms like Teachmint can make a huge difference for them. In addition to this, features like live polls also help teachers increase classroom engagement.

Teachmint helps schools envision a future where their students are equipped with 21st-century skills. With our advanced learning management system, you can improve the teaching-learning experience. Our offerings like education erp, admission management system, fee management system, and others conveniently digitize educational institutions.

Suggested Read: How to Study Effectively?




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