16 Oct. 1996
The field of psychology that deals with the ability to solve educational problems and to improve educational situations is the field of educational psychology. Educational psychology is sometimes referred to as an applied field, meaning, one in which the objective is to solve immediate practical problems (James 29).
The beginnings of educational psychology were initiated by Aristotle in his formulation of the laws of association. These laws: similarity, contrast, and contiguity, supplemented by frequency, are the beginnings to an experimental science (Piaget 9). As the science began to develop, the educational psychologists did little more than administer mental tests, which started with the Stanford-Binet test (IQ test). Today, the science has been expanded to include counseling students, teachers, administrators, and parents, in an effort to help make the school environment one which is most effective in promoting learning. As an example, if a student in school commits a disciplinary action, instead of being indiscriminately punished, that student would be sent to see the school psychologist to find out the causes of the students misbehavior and deal with them accordingly (Frandsen 92).
Though studies of educational surveys, there were nine major factors that increased learning. These nine factors can be placed into three groups: student aptitude, instruction, and psychological environments. Student aptitude includes (1) ability or prior achievement as measured by score on educational test; (2) development as indexed by chronological age or stage of maturation; and (3) motivation or self-concept as shown by personality tests and students' perseverance on learning tasks. Instruction can be thought of as (4) the amount of time students engage in learning and (5) the quality of the instructional experience. Psychological environments include: (6) the "curriculum of the home,"...
Cited: Academic American Encyclopedia (A.A.E.). Danbury, Conn.: Grolier Incorporated,
Frandsen, Arden N. How Children Learn. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company,
James, William. Talks To Teachers. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1900.
Piaget, Jean. Science of Education and the Psychology of the Child. New York:
Orion Press, 1970.
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