Educational Psychology is a psychology subspecialty that addresses the study of learning outcomes, student attributes, the psychology of teaching, cognition and learning, human development, assessment and measurement, gifted studies, neuropsychology and program evaluation. Those seeking an Educational Psychology degree may have interest in research, teaching or practicing in educational settings.
At the center of this subspecialty is the psychologist’s growing desire to make a difference in the lives of students. They realize that a teacher’s knowledge is only the beginning of the challenge to educate, and they help teachers to see how learning more about what is going on inside the student’s mind enables them to become more effective at what they do.
What Does an Educational Psychologist Do?
Educational psychologists act as information gatherers. They analyze student behaviors and backgrounds. They teach teachers how to engage students in the learning process by giving them the essential tools to understand what is going on inside of a student’s brain at various stages of development.
They are able to develop programs that provide students with a safer and happier environment in which to learn. They are also able to identify special needs of the student and work side-by-side with educators to coordinate programs that will be able to reach students at their level. And they make themselves available to students and their parents for emotional and educational support.
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Educational Psychology Careers
Many professionals with an educational psychology degree may work at the administrative level with curriculum planning. They may also act as guidance counselors and offer emotional counseling services to students in need. In smaller school districts, educational psychology professionals may find themselves in multiple roles. At larger school districts these responsibilities may be subdivided.
Most educational psychologists earn around $50,000-$80,000. Some act as consultants to school districts, clinics and human services organizations. Educational psychologist in the private sector generally command a higher salary.
Obtaining an Educational Psychology Degree
If you plan to pursue an educational psychology degree keep in mind that more and more states are requiring a doctorate to get your license. Some states may require also specific licensing exams, while others require supervised experience for 1 to 2 years, and in some states both are prerequisites to practice.