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Introduction to Psychology

The word psychology is from Greek: ψυχή psukhē "breath, spirit, soul"; and -λογία, -logia

"study of".

Psychology is a science, and teaching is an art; and sciences never generate arts
directly out of themselves. An intermediate inventive mind must make that
application, by using its originality.

Psychology (lit. "study of the soul" or "study of the mind" is an academic and applied
discipline which involves the scientific study of human or animal mental functions and
behaviors. In the field of psychology, a professional researcher or practitioner is called a
psychologist. In addition or opposition to employing scientific methods, psychologists often
rely upon symbolic interpretation and critical analysis, albeit less frequently than other social
scientists such as sociologists.

Psychologists study such phenomena as perception, cognition, attention, emotion, motivation,

personality, behavior and interpersonal relationships. Some, especially depth psychologists,
also consider the mind. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in
individual and social behavior, while also exploring the underlying physiological and
neurological processes.

Psychological knowledge is applied to various spheres of human activity including the

family, education, employment, and to the treatment of mental health problems. Psychology
includes many sub-fields that span areas as diverse as human development, sports, health,
industry, media and law. Psychology incorporates research from the social sciences, natural
sciences, and humanities.

History of psychology
The history of psychology as a scholarly study of the mind and behavior dates back to the
Ancient Greeks. There is also evidence of psychological thought in ancient Egypt.
Psychology was a branch of philosophy until 1879, when psychology developed as an
independent scientific discipline in Germany and the United States. Psychology borders on
various other fields including physiology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, sociology,
anthropology, as well as philosophy and other components of the humanities.

School Psychology
School psychology is a field that applies principles of clinical psychology and educational
psychology to the diagnosis and treatment of children's and adolescents' behavioral and
learning problems. School psychologists are educated in psychology, child and adolescent
development, child and adolescent psychopathology, education, family and parenting
practices, learning theories, and personality theories. They are knowledgeable about effective
instruction and effective schools. They are trained to carry out psychological and psycho
educational assessment, counseling, and consultation, and in the ethical, legal and
administrative codes of their profession.

Historical Foundations of School Psychology

School Psychology dates back to the beginnings of American psychology in the late 19th and
early 20th centuries. School psychology is tied to both functional and clinical psychology.
School psychology actually came out of functional psychology. School psychologists were
not content with what happens to different children and how it happens but focused on
answering the question why it happened to children. They wanted to understand the causes of
the behavior and its effects on learning. In addition to its origins in functional psychology,
school psychology is also the earliest example of clinical psychology beginning around 1890.
While both clinical and school psychologists wanted to help improve the lives of children,
they approach it in different ways. School psychologists were concerned with school learning
and behavior problems, which contrasts the mental health focus of clinical psychologists.

Introduction to School Psychology

School psychology dates from 1896 when Lightmer Witmer opened a clinic at the University
of Pennsylvania to facilitate the work of teachers who were treating children with learning
disorders. School psychology at Penn State had a similar beginning in 1931, when Will Grant
Chambers, Dean of the School of Education who had studied under American Psychological
Association (APA) Presidents G. Stanley Hall and John Dewey, created a faculty position
that included directing a psycho educational clinic. Chambers, who had been impressed by
the services provided to teachers by psychological clinic staffs at the University of
Pennsylvania and in an increasing number of universities across the country, wanted to
provide such help for schoolchildren in central Pennsylvania.

Instead of turning to Witmer, the acknowledged leader in the East, Chambers sought a
recommendation from the head of Stanford's psychology department, Lewis Terman. His
nominee was Robert G. Bernreuter, an advisee who was just completing work on a thesis
involving the creation of The Personality Inventory, a scale that became the generic title of
such scales in practice today. Bernreuter sought an endorsement from E.K. Strong with whom
he was assisting with the development of the Vocational Interest Blank. Strong had obtained
help from Bruce V. Moore, the head of the psychology faculty at Penn State, in
conceptualizing the interest inventory when they were both at the Carnegie Institute of

PhDs encountered quite a bit of difficulty in obtaining positions in the 1930s. Bernreuter was
the last Stanford PhD to get a regular, full-time position during the depression.
Although Bernreuter's salary was guaranteed, he had to teach extension courses for two
thirds of his first-year salary and one third of his second to cover the payroll until there
was sufficient money in the general fund from state appropriations. He was prepared to
direct a psychology clinic by his faculty mentors and in the two years he spent with
Stanley D. Porteus at the University of Hawaii clinic.

School Psychology at Penn State

Introduction to School Psychology at Penn State

In 1931, Robert G. Bernreuter was brought to Pennsylvania State University to teach, conduct
research, and develop a clinic that would provide psychological services to schoolchildren
and students in the university, and consultation with their teachers. With the clinic came new
courses to prepare students for service in the clinic and later in the schools. In 1937,
Bernreuter took the lead in developing certification requirements for school psychologists
and state regulations for their employment. Enrollment in these programs expanded for a
while but decreased during the war and later, when the emphasis in psychological services
shifted from children to adults with financing provided by the Veterans Administration.
Following booming school enrollments in the early 1960s, school psychology at Penn State
was reorganized as an independent graduate program that was quickly accredited by all
appropriate bodies.

Social Reform in the early 1900s

The late 19th century marked the era of social reforms directed at children. It was due to
these social reforms that the need for school psychologists emerged. These social reforms
included compulsory schooling, juvenile courts, child labor laws as well as a growth of
institutions serving children. Society was starting to “change the ‘meaning of children’ from
an economic source of labor to a psychological source of love and affection. Historian
Thomas Fagan argues that the preeminent force behind the need for school psychology was
compulsory schooling laws. Prior to the compulsory schooling law, only 20% of school aged
children completed elementary school and only 8% completed high school. Due to the
compulsory schooling laws, there was an influx of students with mental and physical defects
who were required by law to be in school. There needed to be an alternative method of
teaching for these different children. Between 1910 and 1914, schools in both rural and urban
areas created small special education classrooms for these children. From the emergence of
special education classrooms came the need for “experts” to help assist in the process of child
selection for special education. Thus, school psychology is founded.

Social, moral and cognitive development

An abacus provides concrete experiences for learning abstract concepts.
To understand the characteristics of learners in childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old
age, educational psychology develops and applies theories of human development. Often
represented as stages through which people pass as they mature, developmental theories
describe changes in mental abilities (cognition), social roles, moral reasoning, and beliefs
about the nature of knowledge.

For example, educational psychologists have researched the instructional applicability of Jean
Piaget's theory of development, according to which children mature through four stages of
cognitive capability. Piaget hypothesized that children are not capable of abstract logical
thought until they are older than about 11 years, and therefore younger children need to be
taught using concrete objects and examples. Researchers have found that transitions, such as
from concrete to abstract logical thought, do not occur at the same time in all domains. A
child may be able to think abstractly about mathematics, but remain limited to concrete
thought when reasoning about human relationships. Perhaps Piaget's most enduring
contribution is his insight that people actively construct their understanding through a self-
regulatory process.

Piaget proposed a developmental theory of moral reasoning in which children progress from
a naive understanding of morality based on behavior and outcomes to a more advanced
understanding based on intentions. Piaget's views of moral development were elaborated by
Kohlberg into a stage theory of moral development. There is evidence that the moral
reasoning described in stage theories is not sufficient to account for moral behavior. For
example, other factors such as modeling (as described by the social cognitive theory of
morality) are required to explain bullying.

Rudolf Steiner's model of child development inter-relates physical, emotional, cognitive, and
moral development. In developmental stages similar to those later described by Piaget.

Developmental theories are sometimes presented not as shifts between qualitatively different
stages, but as gradual increments on separate dimensions.Development of epistemological
beliefs (beliefs about knowledge) have been described in terms of gradual changes in people's
belief in: certainty and permanence of knowledge, fixedness of ability, and credibility of
authorities such as teachers and experts. People develop more sophisticated beliefs about
knowledge as they gain in education and maturity.

Important Contributors to the Founding

Lighter Wither has been acknowledged as the founder of school psychology. Wither was a
student of both Wilhelm Wundt and James Mckeen Cattell. While Wundt believed that
psychology should deal with the average or typical performance, Chattel’s teachings
emphasized individual differences. Wither followed Catelli’s teachings and focused on
learning about each individual child’s needs. Wither opened the first psychological and child
guidance clinic in 1896 at the University of Pennsylvania. Wilmer’s goal was to prepare
psychologists to help educators solve children’s learning problems specifically those with
individual differences. Wither became an advocate for these special children. He was not
focused on their deficits per se but rather helping they overcome them, by looking at the
individual’s positive progress rather than all they still could not achieve. Wither stated that
his clinic helped “to discover mental and moral defects and to treat the child in such a way
that these defects may be overcome or rendered harmless through the development of other
mental and moral traits,” He strongly believed that active clinical interventions could help to
improve the lives of the individual child.

Since Wither saw much success through his clinic, he saw the need for more experts to help
these individuals. Wither argued for special training for the experts working with exceptional
children in special educational classrooms. He called for a “new profession which will be
exercised more particularly in connection with educational problems, but for which the
training of the psychologist will be a prerequisite”.
As Wither believed in the appropriate training of these school psychologists, he also stressed
the importance of appropriate and accurate testing of these special children. The IQ testing
movement was sweeping through the world of education after its creation in 1905. However,
the IQ test negatively influenced special education. The IQ test creators, Lewis Term an and
Henry Goddard, held a natives view of intelligence, believing that intelligence was inherited
and difficult if not impossible to modify in any meaningful way through education. These
notions were often used as a basis for excluding children with disabilities from the public
schools. Wither argued against the standard pencil and paper IQ and Bitnet type tests in order
to help select children for special education. Wilmer’s child selection process included
observations and having children perform certain mental tasks.

G. Stanley Hall

Another important figure to the origin of school psychology was Granville Stanley Hall.
Rather than looking at the individual child as Wither did, Hall focused more on the
administrators, teachers and parents of exceptional children. He felt that psychology could
make a contribution to the administrator system level of the application of school psychology.
Hall created the child study movement, which helped to invent the concept of the “normal”
child. Through Hall’s child study, he helped to work out the mappings of child development
and focused on the nature and nurture debate of an individual’s deficit. Hall’s main focus of
the movement was still the exceptional child despite the fact that he worked with atypical

Bridging the gap between the child study movement, clinical psychology and special
education was the first person in the United States to officially hold the title of school
psychologist, Arnold Giselle. He successfully combined psychology and education by
evaluating children and making recommendations for special teaching. It was Arnold Giselle,
who paved the way for future school psychologists

Most school psychology training programs are housed in university schools of education.
School psychology programs require courses, practical, and internships that cover the
domains of
1. Data-based decision-making and accountability;
2. Consultation and collaboration;
3. Effective instruction and development of cognitive/academic skills;
4. Socialization and development of life skills;
5. Student diversity in development and learning;
6. School and systems organization, policy development, and climate;
7. Prevention, crisis intervention, and mental health;
8. Home / school / community collaboration;
9. Research and program evaluation;
10. School psychology practice and development; and
11. Information technology Standards for Training and Field Placement, 2007. Specialist-
level training typically requires 3–4 years of graduate training including a 9-month
(1200 hour) internship in a school setting. Doctoral-level training programs typically
require 5–7 years of graduate training including a 12-month internship (1500+ hours),
which may be in a school or other (e.g., medical) setting. Doctoral level training
differs from [specialist degree specialist]-level training in that it requires students to
take more coursework in core psychology and professional psychology. In addition,
doctoral programs typically require students to learn more advanced statistics, to be
involved in research endeavors, and to complete a doctoral dissertation constituting
original research APA Committee on Accreditation, 2008;with

Certification of School Psychologists From 1937

The year before requirements were designated for the specialties, Bernreuter was on leave
from Penn State to assist the Division of Special Education in the state education agency
(SEA). Of five major changes affecting psychologists statewide that Bernreuter introduced
during the 1936-37 school year, four were implemented and three are still in place....In
addition to establishing regulations for certifying school psychologists and for their
appointment in the schools and legislation requiring their use in decisions about special
education placement, Bernreuter prepared and obtained introduction of a law requiring
generic licensing of psychologists by a board of examiners. Although willing to regulate the
entry of psychologists to work in the schools in 1937, the Pennsylvania legislature did not
pass legislation regulating entry to practice in the private sector until 40 years later.
Post-World War II Expansion of Services

Following enthusiasm for employing school psychologists in the late 1930s come World War
II. Many of the men, including Bernreuter, and some of the women went to war. When the
war was over, enrollment in higher education began to grow rapidly. In the late 1940s, the
clinic had a professional staff of eight, including one psychiatrist, and 75 practicum students
from each graduate year level in clinical and/or school psychology.

With peace, emphasis in psychological services shifted from helping schoolchildren to

helping veterans adjust to civilian status and to helping college students. In this postwar
period, Bernreuter's interests turned from psychology in the public schools to psychology in
the colleges. These interests were supported by President Milton Eisenhower and other
university administrators. A testing and counseling program for all entering university
students was inaugurated at Penn State and served as a model for many other institutions.

This administrative structure continues today. Program accreditation for the doctoral program
in school psychology was obtained from the National Association of School Psychologists
(NASP) in 1991. Re-accreditation was periodically obtained from the American
Psychological Association, most recently in 1996.

School psychology services

School psychologists are experts in both psychology and education. School psychologists
address the educational, emotional, social, and behavioral challenges that many children,
youth, and young adults experience. They apply their understanding of human development,
psychopathology, the impact of culture, learning theory, the principles of effective instruction
and effective schools, and the impact of parent and family functioning on children to serve
learners and their families. As noted by the National Association of School Psychologists
(NASP, 2007) and the American Psychological Association (APA, 2007), school
psychologists adhere to the scientist-practitioner framework and make decisions based on
empirical research.

Although school psychologists understand that schools are important in the lives of young
people, not all school psychologists are employed in schools. Many school psychologists,
particularly those with doctoral degrees, practice in other settings, including clinics, hospitals,
forensic settings, correctional facilities, universities, and independent practice (ABPP, n.d.).

In many states school psychologists with terminal Master's or Education Specialist degrees
are limited to employment in school settings. School psychologists employed in schools
conduct psychological and educational assessments, provide interventions, and develop and
present prevention programs for individuals from birth to age 21. They consult with teachers,
other psychological and school personnel, family physicians and psychiatrists, and other
professionals about students and are actively involved in district and school crisis
intervention teams. They also may provide professional development to teachers and other
school personnel on topics such as positive behavior intervention plans and AD/HD and carry
out individual, group, and family counseling.

Employment prospects in school psychology

The job prospects in school psychology in the U.S. are excellent. The U.S. Department of
Labor cites employment opportunities in school psychology at both the specialist and
doctoral levels as among the best across all fields of psychology (U.S. Dept. of Labor, 2006-

According to the NASP Research Committee (2007), 74% of school psychologists are female
with an average age of 46. In 2004-05, average earnings for school practitioners ranged from
$56,262 for those with a 180-day annual contract to $68,764 for school psychologists with a
220-day contract.

Educational psychology
A branch of psychology concerned with developing effective educational techniques and
dealing with psychological problems in schools.

Educational psychology is the study of how humans learn in educational settings, the
effectiveness of educational interventions, the psychology of teaching, and the social
psychology of schools as organizations. Educational psychology is concerned with how
students learn and develop, often focusing on subgroups such as gifted children and those
subject to specific disabilities. Although the terms "educational psychology" and "school
psychology" are often used interchangeably, researchers and theorists are likely to be
identified in the US and Canada as educational psychologists, whereas practitioners in
schools or school-related settings are identified as school psychologists. This distinction is
however not made in the UK, where the generic term for practitioners is "educational

Educational psychology can in part be understood through its relationship with other
disciplines. It is informed primarily by psychology, bearing a relationship to that discipline
analogous to the relationship between medicine and biology. Educational psychology in turn
informs a wide range of specialties within educational studies, including instructional design,
educational technology, curriculum development, organizational learning, special education
and classroom management. Educational psychology both draws from and contributes to
cognitive science and the learning sciences. In universities, departments of educational
psychology are usually housed within faculties of education, possibly accounting for the lack
of representation of educational psychology content in introductory psychology textbooks.


It seems too simple to say that educational psychology is the psychology of learning and
teaching, and yet a majority of educational psychologists spend their time studying ways to
describe and improve learning and teaching. After reviewing the historical literature in
educational psychology, Glover and Running (1987, p. 14) suggested that educational
psychology includes topics that span human development, individual differences,
measurement, learning, and motivation and is both a data-driven and a theory-driven
discipline. Thus, our definition of educational psychology is the application of psychology
and psychological methods to the study of development, learning, motivation, instruction,
assessment, and related issues that influence the interaction of teaching and learning. This
definition is broad because the potential applications of educational psychology to the
learning process are immense!

Today educational psychology is a vital discipline that is contributing to the education of

teachers and learners. For example, Jerome Bruner, an enduring figure in educational
psychology, recently noted the need to rethink our ideas of development, teaching, and
learning and the interactions among them. Specifically, Bruner (1996) urged educators and
psychologists to see children as thinkers, and stated:

No less than the adult, the child is thought of as holding more or less coherent "theories" not
only about the world but about her own mind and how it works. These naive theories are
brought into congruence with those of parents and teachers not through imitation, not
through didactic instruction, but by discourse, collaboration, and negotiation . . . . This
model of education is more concerned with interpretation and understanding than with the
achievement of factual knowledge or skilled performance. (1996, p. 57)

These words reflect many of the goals of this book: Think of educational psychology as a
vital tool that can be of immeasurable help in planning, delivering, and evaluating teaching.
To illustrate how the science of educational psychology can help teachers, we'd like to
identify some key concepts and their relationship to instruction and learning. Much more will
be said about each of these concepts as you work your way through this book.

History of Educational psychology

Educational psychology cannot claim priority in the systematic analysis of educational
processes. Philosophers of education such as Democritus, Quintilian, Vives and Comenius,
had examined, classified and judged the methods of education centuries before the
beginnings of psychology in the late 1800s. Instead, aspirations of the new discipline rested
on the application of the scientific methods of observation and experimentation to educational
problems. Even in the earliest years of the discipline, educational psychologists recognized
the limitations of this new approach. In his famous series of lectures Talks to Teachers on
Psychology, published in 1899 and now regarded as the first educational psychology
textbook, the pioneering American psychologist William James commented that:

Educational psychology is concerned with how students learn and develop, often focusing on
subgroups such as gifted children and those subject to specific disabilities. Although the
terms "educational psychology" and "school psychology" are often used interchangeably,
researchers and theorists are likely to be identified in the US and Canada as educational
psychologists, whereas practitioners in schools or school-related settings are identified as
school psychologists. This distinction is however not made in the UK, where the generic term
for practitioners is "educational psychologist."

Educational psychology can in part be understood through its relationship with other
disciplines. It is informed primarily by psychology, bearing a relationship to that discipline
analogous to the relationship between medicine and biology. Educational psychology in turn
informs a wide range of specialties within educational studies, including instructional design,
educational technology, curriculum development, organizational learning, special education
and classroom management. Educational psychology both draws from and contributes to
cognitive science and the learning sciences. In universities, departments of educational
psychology are usually housed within faculties of education, possibly accounting for the lack
of representation of educational psychology content in introductory psychology textbooks.

Understanding the Meaning of Teaching

The first key concept is the need to understand what it means to teach. We hope that as a
result of reading this chapter and others, such as Chapter 10, you will have a better grasp of
"life in the classroom." You must, however, have a basis from which to make decisions about

Introductory educational psychology is a commonly required area of study in most North

American teacher education programs. When taught in that context, its content varies, but it
typically emphasizes learning theories (especially cognitively oriented ones), issues about
motivation, assessment of students' learning, and classroom management. A developing
Workbook about educational psychology gives more detail about the educational psychology
topics that are typically presented in pre-service teacher education.

Knowledge of Students

The second core concept is the belief that to teach skillfully, you must have as much
knowledge about students as possible: their needs, characteristics, and differences. Section 1
of this book introduces you to the developmental lives of children. Chapter 2 is devoted to
tracing the cognitive and language development of children, while Chapter 3 focuses on their
psychosocial and moral development. Reflecting the diversity in our classrooms, Chapter 4
examines the impact of culture, class, and gender on teaching and learning.

If you become a regular classroom teacher, you will come into contact with one or more
students who are exceptional. There are many different types of exceptional students,
including the gifted and talented, as well as students experiencing sensory handicaps,
communication disorders, physical and health impairments, behavior disorders, learning
disabilities, and mental retardation. Chapter 5 provides valuable information about the typical
characteristics of students who are exceptional.

Understanding the Learning Process

A priority in educational psychology understands the learning process, that is; the procedures
and strategies that students use to acquire new information. Chapter 6 focuses on behavioral
explanations of learning and provides numerous examples of how this theoretical explanation
of learning can be translated into classroom practice. Chapters 7 and 8 turn to more cognitive
analyses of learning, mirroring current concerns with "teaching for understanding." These
chapters have been written to help you turn students into better thinkers and problem solvers
by presenting many techniques and "tips" that have proven helpful. Motivation, the subject of
Chapter 9, is so essential that we can safely state that without it, learning will not occur.

Understanding Instructional Strategies

A fourth key concept is the function of instruction, beginning with the objectives that
teachers wish to attain. concentrate on those instructional strategies that research has shown
to be effective. Learning, however, does not occur in a vacuum. You must understand the
best circumstances in which learning can occur. Consequently, these chapters present in some
detail successful strategies for managing a classroom, focusing on those techniques shown by
both theory and research to be effective.

Understanding Assessment Strategies

Educational psychologists have been instrumental in providing techniques that teachers can
use to determine how successful students have been in attaining new knowledge and skills.
Today, perhaps more than ever, assessing students' knowledge and skills is a central issue in
schools. From a teacher's perspective, two of the most relevant purposes of assessment are (a)
to identify students who need educational or psychological assistance, and (b) to provide
information to teachers that will help them develop instructional programs to facilitate all
students' functioning. Assessment involves the use of many tools and a basic knowledge of

Quantitative methods

Test scores and other educational variables often approximate a normal distribution.
Perhaps first among the important methodological innovations of educational psychology was
the development and application of factor analysis by Charles Spearman. Factor analysis is
mentioned here as one example of the many multivariate statistical methods used by
educational psychologists. Factor analysis is used to summarize relationships among a large
set of variables or test questions, develop theories about mental constructs such as self-
efficacy or anxiety, and assess the reliability and validity of test scores. Over one hundred
years after its introduction by Spearman, factor analysis has become a research staple figuring
prominently in educational psychology journals.
Because educational assessment is fundamental to most quantitative research in the field,
educational psychologists have made significant contributions to the field of psychometrics.
For example, alpha, the widely used measure of test reliability was developed by educational
psychologist Lee Cronbach. The reliability of assessments is routinely reported in
quantitative educational research. Although, originally, educational measurement methods
were built on classical test theory, item response theory and Rasch models are now used
extensively in educational measurement worldwide. These models afford advantages over
classical test theory, including the capacity to produce standard errors of measurement for
each score or pattern of scores on assessments and the capacity to handle missing responses.
Meta-analysis, the combination of individual research results to produce a quantitative
literature review, is another methodological innovation with a close association to educational
psychology. In a meta-analysis, effect sizes that represent, for example, the differences
between treatment groups in a set of similar experiments, are averaged to obtain a single
aggregate value representing the best estimate of the effect of treatment. Several decades after
Pearson's work with early versions of meta-analysis, Glass published the first application of
modern meta-analytic techniques and triggered their broad application across the social and
biomedical sciences. Today, meta-analysis is among the most common types of literature
review found in educational psychology research.
Other quantitative research issues associated with educational psychology include the use of
nested research designs (e.g., a student nested within a classroom, which is nested within a
school, which is nested within a district, etc.) and the use of longitudinal statistical models to
measure change.

Qualitative methods
Qualitative methods are used in educational studies whose purpose is to describe events,
processes and situations of theoretical significance. The qualitative methods used in
educational psychology often derive from anthropology, sociology or sociolinguistics. For
example, the anthropological method of ethnography has been used to describe teaching and
learning in classrooms. In studies of this type, the researcher may gather detailed field notes
as a participant observer or passive observer. Later, the notes and other data may be
categorized and interpreted by methods such as grounded theory. Triangulation, the practice
of cross-checking findings with multiple data sources, is highly valued in qualitative research.
Case studies are forms of qualitative research focusing on a single person, organization,
event, or other entity. In one case study, researchers conducted a 150-minute, semi-
structured interview with a 20-year old woman who had a history of suicidal thinking
between the ages of 14 to 18. They analyzed an audio-recording of the interview to
understand the roles of cognitive development, identity formation and social attachment in
ending her suicidal thinking.
Qualitative analysis is most often applied to verbal data from sources such as conversations,
interviews, focus groups, and personal journals. Qualitative methods are thus, typically,
approaches to gathering, processing and reporting verbal data. One of the most commonly
used methods for qualitative research in educational psychology is protocol analysis. In this
method the research participant is asked to think aloud while performing a task, such as
solving a math problem. In protocol analysis the verbal data is thought to indicate which
information the subject is attending to, but is explicitly not interpreted as an explanation or
justification for behavior. In contrast, the method of verbal analysis does admit learners'
explanations as a way to reveal their mental model or misconceptions (e.g., of the laws of
motion). The most fundamental operations in both protocol and verbal analysis are
segmenting (isolating) and categorizing sections of verbal data. Conversation analysis and
discourse analysis, sociolinguistic methods that focus more specifically on the structure of
conversational interchange (e.g., between a teacher and student), have been used to assess the
process of conceptual change in science learning. Qualitative methods are also used to
analyze information in a variety of media, such as students' drawings and concept maps,
video-recorded interactions, and computer log records.

Employment outlook

Employment for psychologists in the United States is expected to grow faster than most
occupations through the year 2014, with anticipated growth of 18-26%. One in four
psychologists is employed in educational settings. In the United States, the median salary for
psychologists in primary and secondary schools is $58,360 as of May 2004.

In recent decades the participation of women as professional researchers in North American

educational psychology has risen dramatically. The percentage of female authors of peer-
reviewed journal articles doubled from 1976 (24%) to 1995 (51%), and has since remained
constant. Female membership on educational psychology journal editorial boards increased
from 17% in 1976 to 47% in 2004. Over the same period, the proportion of chief editor
positions held by women increased from 22% to 70%.

A person may be considered an educational psychologist after completing a graduate degree

in educational psychology or a closely related field. Universities establish educational
psychology graduate programs in either psychology departments or, more commonly,
faculties of education.

Educational psychologists work in a variety of settings. Some work in university settings

where they carry out research on the cognitive and social processes of human development,
learning and education. Educational psychologists may also work as consultants in designing
and creating educational materials, classroom programs and online courses.

Educational psychologists who work in k-12 school settings (called school psychologists in
the United States) are trained at the masters and doctoral levels. In addition to conducting
assessments, school psychologists provide services such as academic and behavioral
intervention, counseling, teacher consultation, and crisis intervention.
In the UK, status as a Chartered Educational Psychologist is gained by completing:

• an undergraduate degree in psychology permitting registration with the British

Psychological Society
• Two or three years experience working with children, young people and their
• A three-year professional doctorate in educational psychology.

The previous requirement to train and work for two years as a teacher has now been

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• United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), 2006-
2007 Edition. U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics
• Taken from: French, J. L. (1987). School psychology at the Pennsylvania State
University since 1931. Professional School Psychology, 2, 81-92.