Educational Psychology

Careers in psychology revolve around how people think and feel in different situations. The study of any branch of psychology requires a strong theoretical knowledge combined with practical experience of human thinking and emotions. There are various branches of psychology; some of which are clinical psychology, forensic psychology, occupational psychology, neuropsychology, and educational psychology, just to name the major ones.

What is Educational Psychology?

Educational psychology is termed as the analysis of how an individual learns and responds in various educational settings. This involves the study of the learning and grasping level of a student and the teaching practices followed in various educational systems. Studies in this field have led to development of concepts like effective classroom management, good teaching styles, special education needs, study-play balance, most suitable courses of study, etc. This field of psychology has certainly contributed to an improvement in the educational system in general. Professionals studying and practicing this subject are referred to as educational psychologists, or ‘school psychologists’ if working in a school setting.

Requirements
The fundamental requirement to start a career in this field is to possess a bachelor’s degree. Note that you might not get a full-fledged job in the field with just an undergraduate degree. You may look for a job as an assistant to a certified educational psychologist. In order to get a good job, you basically require a master’s degree in the field. If you want to excel in this career, you can even opt for the Education Specialist (EdS) or Doctor of Education (Ed.D) degrees. You can get in touch with the American Psychological Association (APA) for obtaining a list of accredited colleges and degrees which offer doctoral programs in school psychology.

Certification is required in order to qualify for a high-paying job. You can obtain the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) certification offered by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), which is valued in 31 states at present. You can even go for board certification in school psychology administered by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), which requires a candidate to possess a doctorate in psychology.

Job Description

  • Evaluating educational material; that includes courses, trainings, and educational technology used, to know situations students can learn the best in.
  • Devising special educational programs according to learning styles of individuals.
  • Communicating with students and finding out their learning or emotional needs.
  • Arranging for programs that mainly focus on improving cognition and behavior of students.
  • Educating parents and teachers of gifted students about proper ways to motivate them and developing their talents.
  • Counseling students and helping them get over a loss or a depressing situation in education.
  • Documenting all tasks and results of the work performed, and using the same for further in-depth research.