Scope refers to the fields of operations, applications, topics, and subject matter with which it deals. Since educational psychology is an emerging and growing subject, its scope has never been fixed or static.
It has always been changing its boundaries. As a result of new findings in the field, educational psychology has always been adding new dimensions to its areas of activity.
According to Crow and Crow
“Educational psychology is concerned with the conditions that affect learning.”
According to Douglas and Holland
“The subject-matter of educational psychology is the nature, mental life, and the behaviour of the individual undergoing the process of education.”
It has been correctly said by Garrison and others that “The subject matter of educational psychology is designed to enhance and enrich the lives of the learners and to furnish teachers with the knowledge and understanding that will help them to bring improvements in the quality of instruction.
The following areas can be included in the scope of educational psychology:
Study of Stages of Child Development
Educational psychology studies the nature of growth and development and general characteristics of physical, mental, emotional and social development at the various stages, i.e., at the stage of infancy, late childhood and adolescence.
Study of Heredity and Environment
Educational psychology studies the impact of heredity and environment on the student.
Study of Development of Various Aspects of Child
Educational psychology enquires how various modifications can be brought about in the behaviour of the child, how and when do physical, social, emotional and language development occur in children, and how do various instincts make their appearance.
Study of Learning Process
Educational psychology also studies nature and process of learning, laws and methods of learning as well as factors of learning. Interest, attention, motivation, memory, habits and transfer of training play very significant role in learning.
Study of Psychological Basis of Behaviour
It studies the psychological as well as the physiological behaviour of the learner. Psychological basis of behaviour are instincts, emotions, sentiments, suggestion, sympathy, imitation and play etc. Physiological basis of behaviour are nervous system and glands etc.
Study of Motivation
Educational psychology studies the nature, principles and techniques of motivation in educational field.
Study of Individual Differences
Educational psychology studies individual differences and suggests ways and means to provide education to all types of pupils. No two individuals are alike. Individuals differ physically and psychologically. Individual differences are mainly caused by heredity and environment.
Study of Intelligence and Personality
Educational psychology also studies nature, development and assessment of personality and intelligence.
Study of Measurement and Evaluation
Educational psychology is helpful in giving newer and newer techniques and tests for measuring intelligence, personality, aptitudes, interests and achievements etc. It is educational statistics which helps us in measurement and evaluation.
Study of Exceptional Children
Educational psychology studies about exceptional children. It studies about backward, retarded, gifted and creative children and their adjustment problems with home, family and school.
Study of Guidance and Counselling
Child is like a book whose every page has to be studied by the teacher. The teacher has to guide and counsel the students at every stage. Educational psychology studies the nature and process of guidance and counseling.
Study of Group Dynamics
Educational psychology studies group dynamics and group behaviour in class-room teaching and learning. It studies importance and effect of group on the individual. It also considers how an individual can modify the group life. It emphasizes the role of groups in the education of children.
Study of Statistics
Educational psychology studies mean, median, mode graph, rank difference and co-relation.
A careful analysis of the subject matter of educational psychology reveals that it has three important centres-
1. The Learner.
In this area, educational psychology examines the following:
(a) The study of the child, his abilities, aptitudes and aspects of motivation.
(b) Individual differences among children.
(c) Various stages of growth and development.
(d) Influence of various social agencies like home, school, neighborhoods etc., on the child’s personality
2. The Learning Process
In this area, the following aspects are examined:
(a) Nature of learning and how it takes place.
(b) Theories of learning and how maximum learning in the minimum time period can be achieved.
3. The Learning Situation
Under the aspect educational psychology examines the following-
(a) Nature of classroom management and discipline.
(b) Use of techniques and aids which facilitate learning.
(c) Methods of teaching children with individual differences.
(d) New techniques of evaluation and their effective use.
(e) Knowledge about educational and vocational guidance to be given by the teacher to the child.
Thus, it is evident that the subject matter of educational psychology is designed to enhance and enrich the learners and to furnish teachers with the knowledge and understanding so as to help them bring improvements in their quality of instruction.