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What is Educational Psychology?

Educational Psychology is a branch of psychology. Psychology is a discipline of the Social Sciences which studies human behaviour, affect, cognition, development and personality. The focus of educational psychology is to apply these psychological theories and research findings to education-related issues. Educational psychology can help teachers design curriculum, improve teaching methods, and motivate students to learn. It can also be applied to help students cope with various challenges and difficulties in the course of growth and development.

Who are Educational Psychologists?

Educational psychologists in Hong Kong have obtained the following qualifications: an honours degree in psychology or equivalent; and a Master's or Doctoral degree in educational psychology with strong emphasis on professional practice. They are social scientists who are capable to teach and conduct research in educational psychology. They are also practitioners who can provide psychoeducational services to the public. Thus, educational psychologists in Hong Kong are scientist-practitioners.

Services from Educational Psychologists

The services of educational psychologists include psycho-educational assessment, intervention with children, adolescents and their families, in-service training for teachers, consultation with parents, teachers, and educational administrators. Their services range from remediation to development, case work to systems work, and direct services to indirect services. In details, educational psychologists:

1. Provide psycho-educational assessment and diagnosis for students so that parents, teachers, and other professionals can understand the studentsˇ¦ psychological state, learning situation as well as developmental needs in a more detailed and systematic manner.

2. Provide counselling services to children and adolescents with learning, emotional, or behavioural difficulties.

3. Provide consultation services to parents, teachers, schools and other professionals so as to help children and adolescents who are in need of assistance.

4. Collaborate with parents and teachers in the design of educational programmes or procedures for children and adolescents with special educational needs.

5. Collaborate with teachers and student support personnel in the development and implementation of remedial, preventive or developmental programmes in the whole-school-approach to guidance.

6. Collaborate with teachers and management teams to promote quality learning and teaching so as to cater for the individual difference of students from all walks of life.

7. Develop and implement professional development programmes for educators.

8. Assist schools in crisis management, help develop related preventive measures and implement related treatment.

9. Conduct research on educational psychology so as to help teachers improve their teaching and parents advance their parenting. The research will also help improve the service quality of the profession.

10. Analyze organizational needs in schools and provide consultation to the management teams for developing effective measures.

11. Provide consultation to education policy makers from the perspective of educational psychology.

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