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About the Profession

Educational Psychologists investigate teaching and learning within and beyond classrooms. They apply psychological and developmental ideas and methods in order to foster effective teaching and learning for learners of all ages. Consequently, professionals in this field conduct research and teach in colleges and universities, schools and school districts, government agencies, educational research organizations, national laboratories, the military, and the corporate sector. They train educational researchers, program evaluators, teachers, counselors, school psychologists, educational leaders, and other school personnel.

Educational psychologists develop ways to assess and improve how people of all ages learn. They evaluate and compare teaching methods and help to design more effective instructional software. Educational psychologists conduct research on a wide array of topics, including testing and assessment, language acquisition and literacy, motivation, self-efficacy and engagement, creativity, and mathematics instruction. They also research how individual differences – intelligence, ethnicity, race, gender, age, language, economic class – affect learning and development.

Typically, educational psychologists collaborate with professionals from other domains — including teaching, teacher education, bilingual education, Native American/American Indian education, counseling, educational administration, sports administration, information and media technologies, engineering education, healthcare, and social work and other human services. In addition, they often consult various school districts, government agencies and the corporate sector.