What is Educational Psychology?
Educational Psychology considers the individual student in a learning environment. We investigate many elements of learning that are not often considered when completing school tests. We look at long term memory, problem solving, verbal skills and speed. An overall level of ability is assessed. The client also completes reading, spelling and math assessments. If there is any specific learning difficulties present, (such as Dyslexia or Dyscalculia), these will be evident through an educational assessment. Most importantly, clients and their parents have the opportunity to develop a road map of areas that would benefit from improvement so that the student can reach their potential and grow in confidence.
Assessing someone is like making a jigsaw from all the pieces of information gathered through forms and interviews and the assessment itself. Over our years of working in educational psychology we learn a lot from our clients and our assessment processes are adapted accordingly. In my experience, a fully valid and ethical assessment can only be made through informed consent. This is always interesting when assessing teenagers. Their parents who have brought them often turn pale-faced when their teenager is asked if they are happy to go ahead with the assessment. However, this helps to create a mutually respectful environment and this small act of consent-seeking is often a first step towards supporting the teenager to develop rapport and establish trust.
Educational psychologists work across the lifespan, and whether we are working with children, teenagers, or adults, each person’s story is an exciting and fascinating opportunity to learn what it is like to walk in their shoes.
– Deirdre Griffin