Educational Psychology - Child Educational Development
Educational psychology is the study of how people (mostly children but adults too) learn in educational environments, like schools (obviously enough). The field is particularly relevant to children during childhood and the teenage years are when we are obliged to spend most of our time in an organized learning environment. Educational psychology focuses on children's development in education and the best way of meeting their educational needs (especially in the case of children who struggle at school) as well as on the psychology of teaching and the psychology of schools as organizations. The area that's of primary interest to parents is of course the educational needs of children.
School And Clinical Child Psychology
Educational psychologists who work on a day-to day basis in schools rather than doing research or developing theories are referred to as school psychologists. If your child has behavioral difficulties, is being bullied at school, or has fallen behind in numeracy, literacy or other school subjects, a school psychologist may be part of the team that helps to provide support and get your child's educational development back on track.
Clinical child psychology is the field of child psychologists who are engaged mostly in clinical practice (i.e. interacting with the children they are trying to help). Clinical child psychologists, even if they don't work in schools full time, may be called in to help school psychologists and teachers assess the needs of children and develop education solutions for them. The help of school psychologists and clinical psychologists may be needed even if a child's problems at school are caused by problems or dysfunction in the home.
Child psychology is the overall term used to describe the study of children's psychological development. The definition of a child psychologist is a practitioner of psychology who is trained in assessing and fulfilling children's mental, emotional and physical development needs. Not all child psychologists spend all their time treating children, however - some focus more on research and developing theories, which they then have to prove or disprove, based on the clinical data recorded by, for example, school and clinical psychologists who have daily contact with children and their problems.
Training As A Child Psychologist
Anyone interested in training to be a child psychologist will need a doctorate in psychology and work experience in a psychology-related position, working with children. As part of your studies and work experience, you may need to spend some time gaining experience in the branch in which you're interested in specializing in, within the greater child psychology field. In additional to educational psychology and clinical child psychology, there's also forensic child psychology. A forensic child psychologist is someone who deals with the psychological issues children have when they're caught up in the legal system. This could be evaluating kids' best interests during a legal custody battle between their parents, or supporting children required to give witness testimony in a criminal trial.
Information For Parents
For more information about the latest developments in child psychology and how they may help your child, you could consult an educational and child psychology journal. Psychology institutions in the United States, Britain and Canada publish such journals several times a year, in some cases online. The drawback of these journals is that they may assume a certain level of professional knowledge, which the average parent probably doesn't have (unless he or she is a psychologist). Therefore, you may learn more from books on child psychology and development which you can find, for example, in the parenting section of good bookstores. These books are generally written by experienced professionals in layman terms that we all can understand and learn from.
Educational psychology focuses on children's development in education and the best way of meeting their educational needs (especially in the case of children who struggle at school) as well as on the psychology of teaching and the psychology of schools as organizations.