2a i).Give an analysis of some of the focus areas of educational psychology.
Focus areas of Educational Psychology
What the focus areas of Educational Psychology?
The focus area can also be referred to as the elements of teaching-learning situation. They are:
- The subject matter
- The Learner
- The learning process
- The learning environment
- The social climate
1. The subject matter
The subject matter refers to the content. For the content to be learned with ease, it needs to be selected, organized and presented in a manner that makes its learnable. The teacher should also deliver the content in fluent and clear communication. In order to succeed in this task the teacher should take into account the level of difficulty of content for the class level in order to ensure that the learners assimilate the content.
2. The Learner
The learner is a very important element in the teaching learning process. Without him nobody is learning and of course if nobody is learning there is no teaching. For this reason the teacher should understand learner characteristics. The learners in any classroom situation bring differences in personality, learning styles, experiences, level of motivation, abilities, emotional dispositions, cognitive styles and perception. They bring differences in social economic backgrounds, cultural orientation, religious and family backgrounds as well. For these reasons the teacher needs to use appropriate psychological theories and principles in order to understand each learner and his personality dynamics. He needs to understand learners in general and social dynamics that promote learning for each of the learners.
3. The learning process
This is the process by which people acquire changes in behavior, improve performance, reorganize their thinking, discover new concepts and information. The learning process involves everything that people do when they learn. From educational psychology the teacher gets to learn how pupil think and perceive, remember and forget. The teacher gets to know the conditions that make these behaviors probable and also the conditions that inhibit them. With this knowledge, the teacher can ensure that learning has all the chances of occurring.
4. The learning environment
The learning environment refers to the surroundings in which the learner finds himself in and in which the learning process takes place. The learning environment can also be defined as any factor that affects the learner or the learning process. This refers to the facilities that are provided for learning. The facilities may be adequate or inadequate for the use they are put in. They may be safe or unsafe, comfortable or uncomfortable appropriate or inappropriate.
5. The social climate
When we consider the learning environment we need to focus on the social climate as well. This is a very important factor as it helps to facilitate learning or to hinder it. The social climate refers to the human interactions that take place in any classroom situation between the teacher and the learners. The social climate can be cordial or hostile. The hostilities may exist between the teacher and the pupils. Hostilities can also take the nature of intra and inter-class fights. A hostile relationship between the school and its immediate neighborhood can exist in situations where the school is characterized by hostile social environment learning and teaching are affected negatively.
From the study of Educational Psychology, the teacher gets to know the relationship between the physical and social environment and their promotion or inhibition of learning.