RELEVANCE OF EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY FOR SECONDARY TEACHERS

Educational psychology has contributed considerably to the creation of the modern system of education. The knowledge of educational psychology helps the teacher in the following ways:

1. To understand the Stages of Development: Psychology has clearly shown that human life passes through different stages of development before it reaches adulthood. They are infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Psychologists have also thoroughly studied the characteristic behaviour patterns in these different periods of life. Identification of these periods with different sets of characteristics and attributes as regards physical, mental and emotional development greatly help educationists to design curriculum and determine appropriate methods of teaching for students at different stages.
2. To Know the Learner: The child or the learner is the key factor in the teaching-learning process. Educational psychology helps the teacher to know his interests, attitudes, aptitudes and the other acquired or innate capacities and abilities; to know the stage of development linked with his social, emotional, intellectual, physical and aesthetic needs; to know his level of aspiration, his conscious and unconscious behaviour; his motivational and group behaviour; his conflicts, desires and other aspects of his mental health. So that perfect guidance and help can be provided and positive attitude towards the learner can be formed.
3. To Understand the Nature of Classroom Learning: Educational Psychology helps the teacher to adapt and adjust his teaching according to the level of the learners. A teacher is teaching in a class but a large number of students do not understand the subject-matter which is being taught. To deal with the students effectively in the class the teacher must have the knowledge of the various approaches to the learning process, principles, laws and factors affecting it then only he/she can apply remedial measures in the learning situation.
4. To Understand the Individual Differences: No two persons are exactly alike. Pupils differ in their level of intelligence, aptitudes, likes and dislikes and in other propensities and potentialities. There are gifted, backward, physically and mentally challenged children. Thus, psychology tells the teacher about the individual differences among the students in the class and the procedure, methodology and techniques to be adopted for them.
5. To Solve Classroom Problems: There are innumerable problems like truancy, bullying, peer pressure, ethnic tensions, cheating in tests etc. Educational Psychology helps to equip the teacher by studying the characteristics of the problem children, the dynamics of the group, behavioural characteristics and adjustments.
6. To develop Necessary Skills and Interest in Teaching: Educational psychology helps the teacher to acquire and develop necessary qualities and skills to deal with the problems created by the pupils, maintain a healthy atmosphere in the classroom and show concern regarding the progress of the child.
7. To Understand Effective Methods of Teaching: Educational Psychology has discovered several new approaches, principles. methods and techniques of teaching which are very helpful in today’s teaching-learning process. Educational psychology tells us how significant play and recreation are for the children and how play-way methods turn learning into an interesting task.
8. To Understand the Influence of Heredity and Environment on the Child: Educational psychology helps the teacher to know that the child is the product of heredity and environment. They are the two sides of a coin. Both play a prominent part in the all-round development of the child. While the child is born with a number of hereditary qualities, environment helps them to be modified according to the requirements of the society.
9. To Understand the Mental Health of the Child: Educational Psychology helps the teacher to know what are the factors responsible for the mental ill-health and maladjustment of a student and to suggest improvement thereof. Besides this, it also provides the teacher with necessary insight to improve his own mental status to cope up with the situation.
10. To Understand the Procedure of Curriculum Construction: Curriculum is an integral part of the teaching-learning process. Curriculum should be child-centred and fulfil the motives and psychological needs of the individual because child capacities differ from stage to stage. Educational psychology helps the teacher to suggest ways and means to curriculum framers to prepare sound and balanced curriculum for the children.
11. To Provide Guidance and Counselling: Today guidance to a child at every stage of life is needed because psychological abilities, interests and learning styles differ from person to person. Similarly, what courses of study the child should undertake in future is also a vital question. All these can be answered well if the teacher knows the psychology of children.
12. To Understand Principles of Evaluation and Assessment: Evaluation is an integral part of the teaching-learning process. How to test the potentialities of the child depends upon the evaluation techniques. The development of the different types of psychological tests for the evaluation of the individual is a distinct contribution of educational psychology.
13. To inculcate Positive and Creative Discipline: The slogan of the traditional teachers was “spare the rod and spoil the child.” Flogging the child was the chief instrument. Educational Psychology has replaced the repressive system with the preventive system. Now teachers adopt a cooperative and scientific approach to modify the behaviour of the students. Emphasis is laid on self-discipline through creative and constructive activities.
14. Educational Psychology and Research: Educational psychologists conduct research to improve the behaviour of human beings in the educational situation. For this purpose it helps in developing tools and devices to measure the performance and suggest remedial measures thereof.
15. To Know Himself/Herself: Educational Psychology helps the teacher to know about himself/herself. His/her own behaviour pattern, personality characteristics, likes and dislikes, motivation, anxiety, conflicts, adjustment etc. All this knowledge helps him in growing as a successful teacher.
16. Educational Psychology Helps in Professional Growth, Changing Attitude and Innovative Thinking: Inside the classroom, educational psychology has enabled the teacher to achieve proper conditioning of pupils by achieving and directing classroom programmes on human lives. Not only this, educational psychologists are busy in finding out innovations in the field of education. These innovations will bring about professional growth of the teacher.
In Conclusion, we can say that educational psychology has contributed considerably to the creation of the modern system of education. In teaching, we are dealing with three elements – the teacher, the student, and the subject. It has helped teachers, headmasters, administrators, inspectors, guidance and counselling workers, social workers to significantly develop an impartial and sympathetic attitude towards children and form them into integrated personalities.

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