Are there any books that I can read to help me decide if an educational psychology degree is right for me?
There are many books out there to help determine if you have an interest in taking educational psychology classes or pursuing your educational psychology degree online. Sharna Olfman has a series of books that cover childhood issues starting with The Sexualization of Childhood (Childhood in America), which focuses on early gender identity.
If you would like to learn more about developmental disabilities, Olfman’s other books, No Child Left Different (Childhood in America) and Bipolar Children: Cutting-Edge Controversy, Insights, and Research (Childhood in America). Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a novel told from the perspective of an autistic child.
If you are interested in the science behind psychology and what is happening in the brain, you should read Different Brains, Different Learners: How to Reach the Hard to Reach. Written by a teacher with a passion for neuroscience, it centers on a variety of brain studies that help identify different learners and how to help children learn with disabilities. Brain-Based Learning: The New Paradigm of Teaching, by the same author, provides suggestions on how to use what you learn in the book in the classroom.
There are even books that can spark your interest if you are looking to enter the field of special needs education. One book is Nurturing Creativity in the Classroom, which offers opinions from many top educators about how to nurture development in the classroom. This book offers a variety of perspectives on teaching children.
What are some online resources that will give me ideas about how to use a degree in educational psychology?
The National Association of School Psychologists is a great resource if you are interested in putting your online educational psychology degree to use. It is used by professional psychologists and offers information about the field itself, programs of study, steps for earning certification and resources for career development.
The American Board of Professional Psychology offers plenty of information about the importance of certification and specialization in the field of psychology. This resource can give you an idea of what the best fit will be for you and how to take the steps to get there.
The American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest professional organization for psychologists in the United States. You will find useful educational resources, career information and a collection of publications on a range of topics that can give you a better idea of how to use an educational psychology degree.
There are several blogs that present a first person view of the field and may show you some of the different ways people use their educational psychology degrees.
Notes from the School Psychologist is published by a practicing educational psychologist and offers a humorous and anecdotal view of a career as a school psychologist.
Tabsnaps covers hot topics in the field of educational psychology, including real time embedded twitter feeds from people studying educational psychology degrees.
Dr. Gatson Weisz’s blog is a collection of posts about educational psychology, including many embedded YouTube clips explaining concepts in the discipline or demonstrating experiments.
What organizations accredit on-campus and online educational psychology degree programs?
The largest accrediting organization for psychologists is the APA. You can rest assured that the top educational psychology online degree programs are accredited by the APA, including graduate programs, internship programs and post doctoral residency programs. By studying in a program accredited by the APA, you will have a much easier chance of becoming licensed and getting a job after graduation.
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) also offers accreditation for programs in school psychology. If you graduate from a NASP accredited program, you will be eligible for fast tracking when applying for NCSP, which is a national certification program in school psychology.
If you are interested in educational psychology graduate programs online you can search the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) for a list of accredited online programs. Many of the specialized programs accredited by the CACREP include school counseling.
Is a degree in educational psychology recession proof?
The Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a positive outlook for careers in psychology. The projected rate of growth for the field is 22%, which is faster than average. Additionally, the potential for the specialized focus of educational psychology is even more favorable, as the general public is becoming increasingly aware of the types of issues children face in development, such as learning disorders and ADHD.
The best online educational psychology degrees will put you in a better position to secure employment or advance in your career. Although no degree is recession proof, you should make sure to get an accredited degree in educational psychology, which will provide you with specialization in a growing field. Employers will value this specific degree much more than a general psychology degree, especially if you are looking to work with children.
The level of degree you ultimately attain will also be important. If you go for a PhD, you will have much more career opportunity than those with a masters degree, but certifications and accreditation can also play a factor. Since only a small number of online programs are accredited, the degrees may be less competitive on the job market than degrees earned from traditional schools.
What other areas of study are related to my educational psychology program?
An educational psychology program draws from a range of disciplines, and you will likely find your studies intersecting with other related fields. Sociology, which is the study of society and social behavior, shares similarities with educational psychology. Both disciplines rely on observation and analysis of human motivations and behavior, with an emphasis on drawing conclusions based on data gathered.
Sociology has a wider scope of study, for the most part focusing on trends and large populations, while educational psychology tends to deal with people on the individual level. Courses in both fields teach students tools for information gathering and reporting such as the use of surveys, tests and statistics.
Social work is also similar to the coursework of top educational psychology programs online. These 2 fields both place an emphasis on quality interactions with troubled patients and focus on evaluating mental and emotional conditions. Both areas stress the importance of observation and documentation when assisting others.
Social work is often seen as an applied degree, with most students going on to work directly with others. Counseling, crisis intervention and mediation are important topics covered in social work studies. Courses in both fields teach students skills for interacting with patients, such as active listening and diagnosis.
Many similar topics are found in education courses as well. Child development and basic psychology classes teach the same fundamentals covered in the best educational psychology programs. Education curricula expand this base to explore theories of learning, motivation, relationships and language development. Classes in education also train students to develop effective skills for teaching others. Courses in both fields teach students about how children develop and learn.
What internships should I pursue during my on-campus or online educational psychology degree program?
You can augment your educational psychology programs online with a variety of internships. In fact, many jobs require prior experience or fieldwork; so not only is an internship useful to pursue, it may also be necessary. For example, to become a certified school psychologist, you must undergo an internship. Some schools work directly with students to place them in these internships and count the study as coursework toward a major, but there are also competitive, national opportunities available to outstanding students. Students enrolled in accredited online educational psychology programs are eligible for many of these options.
One of the most prestigious internships for undergraduate students is the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Summer Science Fellowship. While entry is fiercely competitive, this summer program is excellent preparation for graduate school in psychology or educational psychology.
Another undergraduate option is Pace University’s Summer Internship Program. With this internship, students get a glimpse of what the working life of psychologist at a university is like.
If you are interested in research, University of Maryland’s Summer Research Initiative may be a good fit for you. Each summer, undergraduates learn about research in the social and behavioral sciences, attend lectures, visit nearby research institutions and even conduct their own guided research studies.
Are there any movies or TV shows that I might enjoy during my educational psychology degree program?
You can enhance the topics covered in educational psychology online programs through a wide range of movies and TV shows. The classic movie Charly, based on the book Flowers for Algernon, is among the most famous films about developmental disorders. This poignant movie follows a man’s journey as he undergoes experiments to drastically increase his intelligence.
The PBS series, The Secret Life of the Brain looks at how the brain develops through different stages of life. This series looks at the brains of babies, children, teenagers adults and aging adults, discussing the changes that occur from 1 stage to the next.
A documentary, The Devil and Daniel Johnston, is a Sundance Festival award winner for its fascinating portrayal of bipolar musician Daniel Johnston. The film provides an overview of how childhood issues first manifest and can unfold into serious issues for adults.
If you’re looking for TV shows, HBO’s In Treatment is a critically acclaimed fictional series which follows a practicing psychologist and his weekly sessions with patients. A wide range of conditions is covered, giving a glimpse into the world of a psychologist. This show, although dramatized, can give you a rough idea of what it is like to be a practicing psychologist.
Autism: The Musical, is a heartwarming documentary that follows 5 autistic children as adults help them orchestrate and perform a musical. This made-for-TV movie earned several Emmy Awards and is a great example of what it would be like to work with children who have mental or developmental issues.
Are there any accelerated campus-based or online educational psychology programs to help me finish my degree faster?
The top educational psychology programs offer combined study options for multiple degree levels. For example, some colleges let you take graduate-level courses while still pursuing an undergraduate degree. Some undergraduate options also allow early admission into graduate programs for accelerated advancement through summer classes or allowing students to take on course loads beyond the typical amount. These accelerated options can save you time and money and shave years off of your overall schooling.
Such accelerated programs usually have special requirements and you must apply to them in addition to the college itself. High standardized test scores, on the SAT or the GRE, may be required. Some colleges require a minimum GPA or class rank for applicants to enter their accelerated programs. Participation in the program is rigorous, and you often have to maintain a minimum GPA through your studies.
Many of these programs also have a fairly rigid schedule of classes that you must follow. You will be expected to work closely with your advisor, mentor or department head to get the most out of your education. Though the pace and requirements may be demanding, if you are eager to advance through your education, an accelerated program could be a challenging and cost-effective option for you.
Is there any open courseware available for online educational psychology courses?
Open courseware (OCW) is an educational initiative that has begun to blossom recently. Pioneered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), OCW facilitates self-taught learning by giving everyone on the Internet access to lectures and course materials from classes taught at participating universities. There are several OCW classes available online which can provide a valuable supplement to an educational psychology online course.
For example, University of Notre Dame has a social psychology course which students in educational psychology courses will find helpful. This course explores how personalities are shaped by social interactions, which is a key concept in education psychology.
University of Massachusetts in Boston sometimes uploads classes from its graduate department for school psychology. These classes, designed for masters and doctoral students, examine specific issues often faced by educational psychologists, like substance abuse and family relationships.
MIT has a very large selection of OCW courses for you to choose from, ranging from basic introductions to psychology to more advanced classes like developmental neurobiology that can be helpful as your studies progress.
Finally, The OpenCourseWare Consortium is an invaluable resource whether you are searching for courseware for specific educational psychology courses or related topics. This site connects OCW programs from hundreds of colleges and universities and has a convenient search function for browsing all of their catalogs at once. A quick search for “psychology” or “educational psychology” brings up links to numerous free courses that can be used to supplement and reinforce your educational psychology classes.
What blogs or other online resources might be useful in my educational psychology courses?
For an upbeat, anecdotal view of educational psychology jobs, the blog Notes from the School Psychologist offers great insights into the field. Written by a practicing educational psychologist, it offers insightful reflections on many practical issues that face school psychologists in everyday life on the job, such as ADHD assessment, gauging emotional disturbances in children and the effects of bullying. If you are considering becoming a school psychologist, this blog gives you a real-world sneak peek into the profession.
Written by several school psychologists with impressive credentials, the School Psychology Blog offers another perspective on the profession and can be a helpful supplement to educational psychology courses. It also offers a fascinating look into the types of professional issues, challenges and concerns that a practicing educational psychologist faces.
If you are curious about what graduate school is like, Of Two Minds is a blog written by 2 doctoral graduate students in psychology. Often humorous and candid, the blog covers topics like research, the challenges of thesis preparation and stories from their student teaching. If you are considering getting your PhD in educational psychology, this blog offers an informative and entertaining insider’s perspective on grad school.
What magazines or journals can I read while I study in my offline or online educational psychology classes?
The American Psychological Association (APA) publishes the Journal of Educational Psychology on a quarterly basis, which mostly covers research about human development and education from scientists in the field. You may find this publication difficult to read at first, but if you are interested in doing research, the articles provide an interesting and informative view of cutting-edge research topics.
The journal Educational Psychologist publishes scholarly articles on practical topics like the analysis of textbooks used in classrooms, the exploration of new educational concepts and improving student motivation. The journal is published quarterly and could be a thought-provoking read for enhancing your educational psychology online course experience and impressing your instructor.
The Dana Foundation provides free periodicals, available both in print and on the Internet, to anyone who is interested in reading about how the brain works and the most recent scientific discoveries about the brain.
If you are looking for lighter reading that is still informative and accurate, the Scientific American Mind might be just for you. Somewhere between the easy-reading, pop-psychology style of Psychology Today and a formal academic journal, this offshoot of the famous publication Scientific American provides accessible and intelligent discussions of topics specifically related to psychology and the study of the mind.