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Psychology of Education

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By nsaint
Words 4519
Pages 19
EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY: A DEFINITION AND KEY CONCEPTS
It seems too simple to say that educational psychology is the psychology of learning and teaching, and yet a majority of educational psychologists spend their time studying ways to describe and improve learning and teaching. After reviewing the historical literature in educational psychology, Glover and Ronning (1987, p. 14) suggested that educational psychology includes topics that span human development, individual differences, measurement, learning, and motivation and is both a data-driven and a theory-driven discipline. Thus, our definition of educational psychology is the application of psychology and psychological methods to the study of development, learning, motivation, instruction, assessment, and related issues that influence the interaction of teaching and learning. This definition is broad because the potential applications of educational psychology to the learning process are immense!
Today educational psychology is a vital discipline that is contributing to the education of teachers and learners. For example, Jerome Bruner, an enduring figure in educational psychology, recently noted the need to rethink our ideas of development, teaching, and learning and the interactions among them. Specifically, Bruner (1996) urged educators and psychologists to see children as thinkers, and stated:
No less than the adult, the child is thought of as holding more or less coherent "theories" not only about the world but about her own mind and how it works. These naive theories are brought into congruence with those of parents and teachers not through imitation, not through didactic instruction, but by discourse, collaboration, and negotiation . . . . This model of education is more concerned with interpretation and understanding than with the achievement of factual knowledge or skilled performance. (1996, p. 57)...

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