Educational psychology is the study of how people learn. Teachers can use educational psychology to better understand how students learn and create appropriate lessons.
Understand Individual Learning Styles Educational theories are complex and cover a large range of different learning styles. Educational psychology is important in the classroom setting because it allows teachers to understand individual learning styles and tailor teaching methods to individual students. Psychologists form an understanding of learning styles by studying human development and identifying different ways that people learn. Developmental delays or advancements affect how someone learns, and an educational psychologist studies how normal human brain development affects how well someone grasps information and the best methods for relaying information to that person. Educational psychologists focus on not only studying how individuals learn but the best ways to apply different teaching methods and affecting educational outcomes through the use of different tailored lessons and teaching styles.
Tailor Lessons to Individuals How a student learns is important for teachers to understand so that lessons can be tailored for individual learning needs. With a class of mixed learning styles, it can be difficult to create lessons that cover all of the different recognized learning styles, but teachers can use what they learn about educational psychology to create supplemental practice lessons tailored for individual needs. Some ideas that teachers can use to better help students is offer worksheets that require students to self-summarize the lesson, self-teach the lesson using information previously learned or provide thoughtful analysis of the lesson to better understand the intricacies of what is taught. All of these methods work for people who need to repeat information in their own way to best understand and learn from it. Other ideas that teachers can implement to help students is to encourage the use of highlighting important information, using mnemonic devices or listening to certain parts of a lecture using headphones so there are no distractions. These are all methods that educational psychologists agree impact the way people process information.
Overcome Learning Difficulties Special learning needs affect how well a student grasps and processes information. Whether it's slow reading, a lack of comprehension, dyslexia or a struggle to focus and concentrate, learning difficulties are one struggle that teachers deal with in the classroom. Educational psychology is important for those who suffer from learning disabilities because research into brain development and how to overcome certain learning difficulties can greatly improve someone's educational experience. Educational psychology can help teachers understand how to best reach the students who struggle the most in a classroom setting.
Understand Motivational Styles Educational psychology works to help understand what motivates teachers and students to work well together. Much of educational success is based on motivation. A student that isn't motivated to learn won't do as well a student who spends time studying and completing extra credit assignments. Teachers who aren't motivated to teach to individual styles will struggle to reach students who learn differently than the teacher's preferred methods. Educational psychologists study intrinsic and extrinsic motivating factors and can use the results to determine what motivates students and teachers in the classroom.