The contribution of educational psychology to the theory and practice of education is rich and varied. The knowledge of educational psychology is important as it provides teachers with some basic skills and guidelines to solve the problems of teaching- learning process.
Teaching is not every body's cup of tea i.e., everyone cannot teach.
According to John Adams, "Teacher should know John as well as Latin". It means teacher should know child and subject- matter. A teacher should know the nature, capacities, likings and aptitudes and attitudes of the child. Child is like a book, teacher should know each and every page of it."
Skinner's View, "The teacher needs psychology to bridge the lives of the young and the aims of education in our democratic society."
Kuppuswamy's View, "Psychology contributes to the development of the teacher by providing him with a set of concepts and principles."
Teaching is an art. Knowledge of educational psychology is very useful and indispensable for the teacher because it gives knowledge to the teacher.
Knowledge of Innate Nature
The child has got natural urges instincts, potentialities and propensities. These innate qualities are the "Prime movers" of his behaviour. The teacher who knows psychology can make his teaching very sucessful while keeping in view innate nature of the child.
Knowledge of Behaviour
Educational psychology assists the teacher in knowing the behaviour of the child at different stages of development. It also helps the teacher in understanding the physiological and psychological basis of behaviour, i.e., nervous system, glands, instincts, emotions, sentiments, motives, play, intelligence, heredity and environment etc.
Knowledge of Guidance
It helps the teacher in giving guidance to the pupils by having an understanding of interests, abilities, aptitudes, achievements, problems, educational and vocational plans of the pupils.
Knowledge of Unconscious Mind
It helps the teacher in knowing the unconscious mind of the students and plays very important role in the development of the personality of the individual.
Knowledge about Himself
It helps the teacher to know about himself. He learns the psychology of being a teacher and acquaints himself with the traits of a successful teacher.
Understand Development Characteristics
Children pass through different stages of development as infancy, childhood and adolescence. These developmental stages have their own characteristics. If the prospective teacher knows the characteristics emerging at different stages of development, he can utilize these characteristics in imparting instruction and moulding their behaviour according to the specified goals of education.
Understand the Individual Differences
No two individuals are alike. The teacher with the knowledge of the kind of individual differences may adjust his teaching to the needs and requirements of the class and thus may be helpful in creating conducive environment in the schools where the students can develop their inherent potentialities to the maximum.
Understand the Nature of Classroom Learning. The knowledge of educational psychology provides a teacher the knowledge of learning process in general and problems of classroom learning in particular.
The teacher by the knowledge of educational psychology can understand the principles of learning and various approaches to learning process, problems of learning and their remedial measures and also about factors affecting and guidance for effective learning.
Understand Effective Teaching Methods
Educational psychology gives us the knowledge of appropriate teaching methods. It helps in developing new strategies of teaching. It also provides us with the knowledge of different approaches evolved to tackle the problems of teaching at different age levels.
Understand the Problems of Children
By studying educational psychology a teacher may understand the causes of the Problems of the children which occur at different age levels and can successfully solve them.
Knowledge of Mental Health
By studying educational Psychology teacher can know various factors which are responsible for mental ill health and maladjustment and can successfully help in Central hygiene.
Measurement of Learning Outcome
Psychological tools help the teacher to assess the learning outcome of the students and also to evaluate his teaching methods for required modification.
Psychological principles are also used in formulating curriculum for different stages. Needs of the students, their developmental characteristics, learning patterns and needs of the society all are to be included in curriculum construction.
Educational psychology helps in developing tools and devices for the measurement of various variables which influence the behaviour and performance of students.
Helps to Develop Positive Attitude
The teacher training programme aims to develop positive attitude towards teaching profession and provides the prospective teachers with the necessary competencies to meet the classroom challenges.
Training colleges provide the knowledge of organizing the subject matter in a sequential order to suit the needs of the class. The trainees are also acquainted with the techniques of motivating children for learning.
Understanding of Group Dynamics
Educational psychology helps the teacher to recognize the importance of social behaviour and group dynamics in classroom teaching learning.
Problem of Discipline
With the knowledge of educational psychology teacher utilizes the importance of indirect discipline rather than corporal punishment. It tells the teacher that discipline should be self-discipline, dynamic, positive and constructive through participation in purposeful activity.
Pleasure and pain, reward and punishment, praise etc., should be judiciously used. If the teacher is unaware of the principles of educational psychology he may be unable to solve the problems of his students and thereby fail to induce order and discipline among them.
School and Class Administration
Former autocratic method of administration in school and class has been charged by democratic way of life wherein the teachers and administrators are more democratic, co-operative and sympathetic and problems of administration solved by mutual discussion.
Use of Audio-Visual Aids
Educational psychology has helped the teachers to make use of various types as audio-visual aids in classroom teaching so as to make the concept more clear, definite and learning to last longer.
The knowledge of psychology is helpful to the teacher in preparing time-table. He should keep in main the relative importance and toughness of different subjects and level and index of fatigue of the students.
Use of Innovations
Activity-centred teaching, discussion method, micro-teaching etc., are some innovative ideas adopted to improve the teaching learning process.
Activities like debate, drama, games are given due importance along with theoritical subjects for the harmonious development of the personality of children.
Production of Text Books
Educational psychology has helped in planning of text books according to the intellectual development of children, their needs and interests at different age levels.
Undoubtedly the study of educational psychology may be very helpful to equip our prospective teachers with necessary skills to deal with classroom teaching learning problems.