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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What's the Difference Between Educational Psychology and Educational Therapy?

There seems to be a logical assumption that if you get a degree in educational psychology that this would enable you to be an educational therapist. As with many assumptions, this is partially true, but not fully accurate.

What is Educational Psychology?

Educational psychology is an established branch of psychology that can be traced back to the early 1900s, and many formal institutions of higher education offer advanced degrees in this field of study. educational psychologists study human learning and motivation, and they investigate the
  • cognition of the brain
  • influence of affect, goals, and interest on learning
  • role of assessment in learning
  • psychology of teaching
  • effectiveness of instructional intervention
  • relationship between cognition and technology
  • social psychology of learning organizations
  • methods for conducting educational research
These programs offer instruction on how people use emotional, social, and cognitive processes to learn and retain knowledge. They focus on theory and research more so than direct instruction, and areas of focus might include teaching methods, testing techniques, classroom environments, as well as the learning, social, and behavioral problems that interfere with learning.

What Does an Educational Psychologist Do?

Many educational psychologists conduct educational research and studies on current and educational practices, while others may try to develop new and improved teaching techniques, testing methods, learning methods and educational programs. Some example resources an educational psychologist might author include worksheets, lesson plans, tests, textbooks, and instructional videos.

Many educational psychologists have specialties. They may concentrate on a specific age group ranging from elementary to adult learners. It is also common for an educational psychologist to focus on a particular type of learning problem or disability, such as dysgraphia or dyslexia.

What is Educational Therapy?

Educational therapy is new term, and this is why there are few if any formal educational programs actively using this method. The term learning specialist has been around for a longer period of time and the two approaches are virtually the same. Educational therapy is a form of remedial treatment used to help individuals with learning differences, disabilities, and challenges. These professionals are versed in helping students with social and emotional challenges surrounding their learning difficulties. These interventions are individualized and unique to the specific learner. Most educational therapists combine degrees in both education and psychology. Training methods are also available through online courses of study.

What Does and Educational Therapist Do? 

An educational therapist combines educational and therapeutic approaches for evaluation, remediation, case management, and advocacy on behalf of children, adolescents, and adults with learning disabilities or learning problems.

Final Thought:

I am an educational therapist and I feel that my Master’s degree in educational psychology was an integral piece of my training. However, I also have another six years of doctoral study in a combination of school psychology, special education and adult education. These, too, were significantly relevant, but two other extremely important aspects of my training were my BA in fine arts (what I like to refer to as my secret weapon) and a three-year assistantship where I conducted psycho-educational testing and wrote comprehensive neuropsychological assessments. So although direct training is educational therapy methods is limited, there are many pathways that can lead to the knowledge needed to be an educational therapist.

If you would like to learn the distinction between an educational therapist, learning specialist and a tutor: http://learningspecialistmaterials.blogspot.com/2016/01/tutor-learning-specialist-and.html
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials. She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY. To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz

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