What is an Educational Psychologist: A Concise Review

An educational psychologist works with children who are having trouble in school. If a child is not doing well in school, an educational psychologist may help to find out why and help the child improve.

They do this through the use of assessments, consultations, and interventions. They work to uncover and treat students who have learning disabilities or students who may be struggling with an emotional issue.

An educational psychologist is a kind of psychologist and a specialist in the field of education. You can find out the roles, duties, and responsibilities of this profession, and their skills by reading further.    

What is an Educational Psychologist?

An educational psychologist is responsible for improving the learning outcomes of students, organizations, and communities, especially those with learning difficulties. They offer therapy to kids who display poor conduct, have emotional issues, or struggle with peer relationships. 

Additionally, they often work with parents and teachers to advise on the best methods of teaching children and adolescents with various psychological problems. Educational psychologists also aim to improve teaching and learning in schools.

What Are the Roles of an Educational Psychologist?

1. Assess children’s learning and emotional needs

The work of an educational psychologist includes assessing students’ academic progress, abilities, and problems in the classroom. Sometimes, they collaborate with other professionals, such as speech therapists, to undertake assessments and recommend suitable educational interventions. 

Their assessment results are used to support individual children’s learning and educational needs. For example, they can help dyslexic children develop their reading skills using various methods.

2. Diagnosis of learning disorders

An educational psychologist is a specialist in psychology who specializes in learning. She or he diagnoses learning disorders, deals with children and adolescents with severe learning disabilities. 

As part of their role, they also evaluate disabled students to determine where they should be placed in classes. Furthermore, they offer intervention and additional mental health services at school and home and counsel teachers. 

SEE: Types of learning disorders 

3. Design, develop and support therapeutic and behavior management programs

Educational psychologists design, develop, and support therapeutic and behavior management programs. Educational psychologists implement different learning theories and ideas that can help enhance an individual’s educational performance.

4. Support parents, teachers, and others involved with the education of children and young people

First and foremost, educational psychologists engage with children, young people, and families as described above. They coach parents, teachers, and other individuals involved in their children’s education on how to work more effectively with children. 

An educational psychologist can address a child’s difficulties at home, school, or in any other setting.

SEE: Importance of parental involvement in a child’s education 

5. Evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and make recommendations for further action

An Educational Psychologist is a licensed psychologist who assists in the education of children suffering from learning difficulties. 

The role of most educational psychologist is to correct or enhance an individual’s maladaptive behaviors and situations through psychological intervention strategies.

For example, by identifying and understanding the child’s individual needs, they can recommend ways that could help the child overcome certain issues.

Who Might Benefit from Seeing an Educational Psychologist?

An educational psychologist is a psychologist who provides educational assessments, interventions, or consultation. Their goal is to assist you in becoming the best learner that you can be as well as assist in your learning and testing.

Students with learning disabilities and students who find it difficult to concentrate in the classroom can benefit from their help. Additionally, educational psychologists provide resources for students who feel overwhelmed by school and need help coping with school issues.

Individuals who will benefit from the services of an educational psychologist include:

  • A child who is struggling at school, because they have a disability or specific learning difficulties will be
  • Adults experiencing confusion while reading or writing
  • A young person who has been excluded, discriminated against, or harassed at school, who is struggling with bullying and violence
  • A parent or carer of a child or young person with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
  • Consultants working with schools or teachers

In case you are unsure whether or not to seek the help of an educational psychologist, review the list above. If you relate to many of these, consider consulting with a professional psychologist. Thus, you will be able to overcome your difficulties, find out why they exist, and develop better relationships with others.

How Do You Become an Educational Psychologist?

An education psychologist needs to have an understanding of educational policy, current practices, and research to practice in this field.  

As an educational psychologist, you need to complete your undergraduate degree, then apply to graduate school. Graduate school takes between 1 and 2 years, depending on how many credit hours you have completed toward your major.

After that, you’ll need to work as an intern for 2 to 3 years, then graduate school, where you will get your doctorate and search for jobs. 

A master’s degree in educational psychology can still get you a job as an educational psychologist, but it will be harder to secure the job without the post-graduate training an educational psychologist has. 

For the job to be successful, you must possess certain skills, advanced academic training, and professional development. 

What skills do you need to become an educational psychologist?

  • Willingness to help people, especially children 
  • Sensitivity to cultural issues
  • Clear and precise communication skills
  • Time management 
  • Critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving skills 
  • Skilled in the implementation of counseling skills
  • The ability to deduce and analyze information from observations
  • An empathetic and responsive approach to people, families, and communities
  • Ability to collaborate intensively and closely with colleagues from other disciplines, services, and agencies

Educating children who, for whatever reason, have difficulty functioning in school or social situations is the role of the educational psychologist. Educational psychologists must also be able to provide unique assessments and treatment plans. 

They also take on a leadership role, helping shape the curriculum and create positive school environments for struggling students.

SEE: What are transferable skills?

What Are the Career Prospects for Educational Psychologists?

Education psychology is a study of how an individual’s abilities, personality, or mental health impact their performance in school. As the definition of this field implies, educational psychologists are expected to be able to communicate effectively with teachers, parents, and pupils. 

Educational psychologists are also concerned with how students’ cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds affect their learning experiences. Among colleges and universities in the U.S, they can be found in special education, counseling education, psychology, sociology, and speech-language pathology. 

They also work in municipal schools, state departments of education, and private practice. In today’s world, most people want to get into college so they can get a better job to earn good money and live happy lives without any problems or struggles.

Thus, educational psychology is an imperative job in today’s world since educators and students are constantly facing social, emotional, and psychological challenges. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 14 to 15 percent in the next few years.

How Can Schools Use an Educational Psychologist’s Expertise?

Quite often seen as a positive role in schools, the educational psychologist is becoming more widespread. Educational psychologists are experts who offer support and advice to both staff and pupils. They usually work alongside schools to ensure that every child is given the best possible education. But can an educational psychologist help in a school environment?

  • Educational psychologists can help identify the cause of the learning difficulties
  • They are often needed in special education cases to make sure that special education programs meet the student’s needs
  • They might be required by law to provide testimony in court cases about whether a child is receiving an appropriate education
  • Educational psychologists can also serve as consultants to teachers, administrators, and parents about how best to teach children of various abilities
  • They can also help students who are exhibiting emotional or behavioral problems at school work
  • They help teachers learn how to better understand the children they teach

Educational psychologists can provide valuable services to those who run schools and educate children and young adults. They are skilled in the diagnosis of learning and emotional disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD, deficits of executive functions, giftedness, and behavioral disorders. 

Educational psychologists work to find ways for students to learn to the best of their ability despite any barriers that may exist.

A Day in the Life of an Educational Psychologist 

As an educational psychologist, each day you might speak to parents, teachers, students, and their families about a specific issue in their lives. It might also involve sitting in on lessons and tracking the progress of a student. 

You might also write reports or recommendations regarding different issues. Each day is different and requires you to use your skills and knowledge to resolve the particular situation or problem you are involved with. As I recall, I interviewed an educational psychologist once, and when I asked her what she loved about the job most, she replied in the following manner;

“I find meeting people to be one of the most rewarding aspects of my job as an educational psychologist. Yes, I enjoy working with children of all ages and their parents, but I especially enjoy meeting other professionals and discussing how everyone’s efforts intersect in the classroom and in a child’s life. We cannot predict when we might learn something new, or when a new connection might be helpful to someone with a school problem.”

The day-to-day activities of an educational psychologist are challenging, yet fulfilling. Especially in a school setting, psychologists face even greater challenges. The school setting is filled with many different personalities. Being a successful educational psychologist requires an in-depth understanding of who you are and what you can bring to the job.

How Much Money Do Educational Psychologists Earn?

An educational psychologist may earn anywhere from $80,000 to $120,000 annually. The salary of an educational psychologist may vary depending on where they work and the experience they have.

Most educational psychologists work full-time, but some may also work part-time or work for organizations that are not necessarily educational.

SEE: How to make money as a teacher

FAQs

Is becoming an educational psychologist worth it?

Yes. Educational psychology is a very rewarding career that involves assisting in the development and learning of children, from teenagers to adults. Educational psychologists are also helpful in the identification of children and teenagers with psychological conditions such as behavioral issues and dyslexia.

How do you know if your child needs to see an educational psychologist?

An educational psychologist is an expert who can help you find ways to use every single part of your child’s learning to improve their life. They might be a bad student, struggling in school, not doing well at home, or having trouble at home. This might even be your first time hearing about this kind of problem. 

Educational psychologists are experts in all things education. Their job is to help solve problems that students face in school. They work with teachers, parents, and kids to make sure that the student’s learning is productive.

Where can you work as an educational psychologist?

An educational psychologist is a professional who studies the counseling and learning process. Educational psychologists work to enhance students’ self-esteem, communication skills, and social interactions.

They are in demand in private and public schools, colleges and universities, government agencies, child care services, mental health organizations, and hospitals.

Final Thoughts 

So it’s clear that an educational psychologist would be an asset in any educational setting, from grade school up to college. Educational psychologists do not need to be teachers, but they can assist teachers with learning-related problems. These problems can include failure to pay attention or complete homework, troubled peer relationships, or poor self-image. 

Whether students are struggling at school or not, they will continue to learn in new environments and under the care of different adults. An educational psychologist is the right person to determine how the next generation will succeed in the educational environment and how counselors, teachers, and parents can contribute to their success.

If you want to learn more about teaching styles, gifted education, and the latest trends in education, then you should continue reading the articles on LMS Hero as this is where you will find all the information that you are looking for. 

Thanks for reading.