Educational Psychology: What relevance does educational psychology bring to the teaching process?

1a iii). Explain the relevance of educational psychology in the teaching process.

Relevance of Education Psychology

The issue of relevance of Educational Psychology to the teacher is of great importance. The relevance emanates from the fact that teachers in the schools do not teach Educational Psychology. They teach other disciplines. For example English language, Mathematics, Kiswahili, Biology, Geography, Physics, Chemistry etc. These are languages, humanities, sciences and practical subjects. These are disciplines that require scholarship. This means that a teacher may be very good in scholarship achieving high grades in the area of academic pursuit. Another teacher could be an average achiever in scholarship while another one merely passed his examinations.

Given this scenario, it is inevitable for one to the wonder whether the person with excellent performance in scholarship will of necessity become a good teacher while the poor scholar consequently becomes a poor teacher.

The other issue of concern is whether teachers are born or made. Focusing on these concerns one remembers the joke about teachers and jobs, which goes like this; “Those who can find jobs do them, those who do not find jobs teach, while those who cannot teach, teach teachers”. It is imperative to ponder on these issues in order to install educational Psychology in its rightful place. Therefore it is important to point out that being a brilliant scholar does not necessarily make one a good teacher, neither does being a poor scholar make one a poor teacher.

The difference between a good teacher and a poor one is made by the knowledge and application of Educational Psychology. Educational Psychology equips the teacher with the scientific approach to learning and teaching. It equips the teacher with scientific and practical insights into the various aspects of the learning-teaching process. The scientific approach enables the teacher to know what can be done in the learning-teaching process. He gets to know what will work and what will not work why some approaches work while others fail totally. The teacher gets to know and to as well as apply what consists realistic goals for learning and teaching. With this knowledge, the teacher learns to avoid the use of pre-scientific methods in the learning-teaching process. We shall briefly look at pre-scientific approaches to learning and teaching.

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