On the need for an individualistic educational psychology emphasizing on the central role of the learnerEducation and psychology are related in more than just one way and the psychology of education could be related to educational principles in psychology or how education as a discipline is taught within psychology as a subject and how these two disciplines merge. This is primarily the focus of educational psychology which studies how human learning occurs, what ways of teaching are most effective, what different methods should be used to teach gifted or disabled children and how principles of psychology could help in the study of schools as social systems.Psychological education would be completely focused on learning methods as structured or imparted according to psychological and individual needs of the students. Education would differ according to culture, values, attitudes, social systems, mindset and all these factors are important in the study of education in psychology.Educational psychology is the application of psychological objectives within educational systems and psychological education as I distinguish here is application of educational objectives in psychological processes. The first focus of using psychology in education is more general and the second approach of using education in psychology is more individualistic. However as far as present study of educational approach to psychology is concerned, there is no difference between individualistic educational psychology and general educational psychology and all interrelationships between psychology and education are considered within the broad discipline of educational psychology.However a distinction between the more general educational psychology and more specific psychological or individualistic education could help in understanding the nuances of individualistic study and give a subjective dimension to the study of psychology in education. This could also help in making learning systems more student based and according to the needs of culture, society, individual or personal factors. This sort of study with a focus on personal/psychological aspects of learning is not just about social objectives and objectives within educational systems but also about personal goals and objectives and the psychological processes involved in learning. There has to be a clearer demarcation between education in psychology as a general study and individualistic education in psychology as a more specific and subjective discipline.As of now educational psychology encompasses a wide range of issues and topics including the use of technology and its relation to psychology, learning techniques and instructional design. It also considers the social, cognitive, behavioural dimensions of learning but it would be necessary to make education more personal and individualistic through a special branch with a psychological focus on education so that individual needs are considered. There could be two ways in which this branch of knowledge could evolve – either by strengthening psychological education or individualistic approach to the psychology of education or by having two distinct branches of general educational psychology and individualistic educational psychology.As in client centered approach to psychology, a psychology of education should also include further research that would highlight the need for individualistic dimensions in learning. Learning psychology is the use of psychological theories for example that of Jean Piaget and Kohler in the study of learning techniques, especially among children. I have already discussed Piaget but briefly Piaget’s theory higlights different stages of learning in children and Kohler suggested that learning occurs by sudden comprehension or understanding, however I will not go further into learning theories here. Whereas the focus of educational psychology is on learning techniques per se and the role of the learner is considered only secondary, a branch of individualistic psychology in education could help in emphasizing the role of the learner considering not just their disabilities or giftedness but also their personality patterns. This focus on personality patterns brings out the central role of understanding psychology in educational systems.Educational psychology studies both the personal approaches to education as in giftedness, disability, learning theories applied to children and adults, and the more general objective approaches to learning as the role of schools as social or cultural systems.The psychology of education could include the following branches:General Educational Psychology 1. Learning Systems – As studied from individualistic learning perspectives and generalized learning perspectives, a discussion of the different theories, practices and systems or techniques of learning is an integral part of educational psychology and especially central to general educational psychology.2. Social Systems – The use of education in social, cultural and economic systems could be considered within the psychological context and this relates to the role of education in society.Individualistic Educational Psychology 1. Learning Systems – Learning techniques and systems or methods will have to be in accordance with the needs of the children or adult participants and according to skills of the teachers. Needs vary according to personal traits and abilities and individual needs will have to be considered during the learning process.2. Social Systems – Individual learning psychology will have to be studied according to specific social and cultural backgrounds of the learners and thus a more subjective study of learning approaches and centralized role of the individual in the learning process considering their social, cultural or intellectual background will have to be considered.
According to the Survey of Earned Doctorates, as of 2004 there was a 3.4 percent increase in doctorate degrees awarded in the United States. In June, 2004, a total of 41,155 research doctorate degrees were earned by postgraduate students. The recent increase in doctorate degrees awarded after a decade of decline can be partially attributed to the convenience of distance learning postgraduate online education degrees.Postgraduate degree programs offer students an opportunity to explore a subject to attain the highest levels of proficiency in that area of study. Courses can be based upon a curriculum or independent study and research. A recent study released by both Penn State University Outreach Marketing and Communications and University Continuing Education Association revealed that distance learning is anticipated to grow ten times quicker than on-campus education over the next ten years. Further, about 45 percent of college enrollment are adult students who frequently prefer distance learning opportunities to classes on campus. Sun Chairman Scott McNealy states, “Technology has to play a huge role in education. (It’s) changed commerce…publishing…banking. It’s got to change education big time.”Distance learning postgraduate online education degrees afford busy students the opportunity to earn doctorate degrees at their convenience, without having travel to and attend traditional classes. By the time students intend to pursue distance learning postgraduate online education degrees, they are usually computer literate, self-motivated and able to manage their time properly. These are all essential elements to success in virtual classrooms. The two basic types of postgraduate degrees students may earn are professional doctorates or research doctorates.Professional doctorates. The United States requires terminal professional doctorate degrees to perform in certain fields, such as dentistry, medicine, law, chiropractics, occupational therapy and psychology. Prior to entering these professional doctorate programs, students are required to complete a bachelors degree, preferably in a related field. Professional doctorate degrees, such as J.D. and M.D., usually do not require students to complete a thesis, although some do require an original research paper to be submitted. Doctorate degrees usually take three years to complete after postsecondary education, although distance learning postgraduate online education degrees may be earned more quickly. Because online education courses are often geared for the busy adult learner, students can progress at their own pace.Research doctorates. The research doctorate that is most commonly earned is a Ph.D. The time is takes to complete research doctorate degree programs can vary quite a bit, depending on course pursued. It is common for students to take two to three years to complete coursework and three or more years to conduct pertinent research. The benefit of a Ph.D. is that a holder is qualified to pursue an academic career as an expert in their field. Distance learning research doctorate degrees are conveniently pursued online and can be easily worked around professional schedules.Honorary doctorates. These degrees may be awarded for substantial contributions to a field and are not necessarily academic.Financial Aid. Federal financial aid and loan programs may be applied to distance learning postgraduate online education degrees. Employers may offer tuition reimbursement for coursework. Private loans may also be secured to pay for higher education. Students have several options available that can help them finance their doctorates.Thesis. Some postgraduate doctorate degrees require students to write a thesis. The learner defines their own area of research and takes years to write a detailed paper, which may be made available as pertinent information to other students in the field.Coursework. Distance learning postgraduate online education degree programs offer students ongoing guidance through coursework, email, virtual lectures and online discussions. Students are, however, expected to work independently and use a variety of research resources to complete their course requirements.Online Students. A recent national study entitled Degrees of Opportunity revealed some interesting facts about online students. Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed felt that the benefits derived from higher education are equal to or even greater than the money, time and effort involved. Lyungai Mbilinyi, Ph.D and author of this report, stated, “Eighty-one percent associated higher education with a sense of personal accomplishment and seventy-eight percent believed education would better develop their talents or pursue their interests. Despite the assortment of obstacles many adults face when considering a return to school, the overwhelming majority believe the resulting benefits have made it worthwhile.” Finally, eighty-four percent of enrollments in higher education programs are non-traditional students such as distance learners and adults with jobs. Students who participate in distance learning postgraduate online degree programs are not only seeking better positions, but the increased knowledge and self-esteem that comes with an advanced education.The study “Growing by Degrees: Online Education in the United States, 2005″ found that full distance learning postgraduate online education degree programs were offered by 38 percent of schools. The popularity of postgraduate online degree programs makes it clear they are a viable way to earn higher education and improve career options.