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How Psychological Principles Promote Effective Teaching And Learning.

Chinyere believes in excellency, for her anything worth doing is worth doing well.


Teaching and learning are two sides of the same coin. Traditionally, teachers only show concern with the mastery of the subject. Regardless of what happens to the learners, how the learner learns. What makes learning take place?

They have no interest in why one student does something better than others. Or even why some learners fall below expectations.

In the educational setting, psychological principles are knowledge, ideas, techniques that form the positive growth and development of the individual student, mentally, socially, emotionally, and morally.

Education is a continuous learning process, affected by conditions and experiences. It influences the activities and interests of the learner. For example, in a classroom situation, students are different in their characteristics even if they are from one family.

Some work better in a group than others; some are cooperative. Others are difficult; some do better in one subject than in others. Situations like these are due to individual differences among the students. Therefore, call for improvement through the use of psychological techniques.

It is your responsibility as a teacher to use the principles of educational psychology to boost the teaching/ learning process. You have to determine the approaches and techniques. That can affect a positive change in the learner's personality. To enable him to perform effectively.

Read on to understand. I will explore the usefulness of some psychological principles and concepts to effective teaching/ learning.

5 Important Psychological Principles

Here are the psychological principles that promote teaching:

  1. Individual Differences
  2. Motivation
  3. Human Development
  4. Reward
  5. Punishment.

1. Individual Differences

Individual differences are the unique ways each human being differs from another. No two human beings are alike.

Children are different from one another. Likewise, Some come to school young. Some develop fast. Others are not educational, psychological principles that help to explain how individuals differ and suggest ways of coping with these differences.

I noticed that learners look different in their physical characteristics. They are also different in their intellectual ability, social/educational behaviors. A child may be good in language areas but poor in arithmetical calculations.

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These differences in your learners are necessary that you should note them down. To identify these differences and channel your teaching plans and activities to take care of such differences. You have to ensure that every child in the classroom will progress at the rate and level of need.

How do I handle Individual Differences In Classroom?

I was able to handle individual differences among learners through problem-solving techniques. Let me give you a step-by-step guide on how to go about it.

Step 1. I assessed the learners through the following methods:

Observation; you pay attention to notice the behavior of your learners. Your findings of each child's physical appearance, academic performance, emotional expression, and social interaction in the class will enable you to know how each differs from others.

Interviews; you assess the personality of your learners through having personal conversations with them. Here you get to know about the child's family background. And whether the circumstances in his family are contributing tremendously to his classroom behavior.

Rating scales; you should use a rating scale to assess the child's traits like cooperation, leadership, achievement in class, interest in learning, level of aggression, etc.

Achievement Test; you use class tests to assess the academic performance of the learner.

Class Discussion; class discussion provides the forum from which the teacher can obscure the unique characteristics of pupils. The answer the child gives can be intelligent, not intelligent or stupid. The manner of speaking or the mode by which he answers can tell a lot about his personality.

Sociograms; With this, you know the patterns of the child's interaction or relating to one another in class. It can be a method of studying interpersonal interaction in class.

Simple Questionnaires; you use questionnaires to gather information on the child's academic and vocational interest, study habits, level of motivation, attitudes towards school, etc. I was able to handle individual differences among learners through problem-solving techniques. Let me give you a step-by-step guide on how to go about it.

Step 2.

Having assessed each learner, I can identify the fast learners, slow learners, and average learners. I know those who need special attention and the areas. I then ensure that my lesson plan contains the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor objectives to meet each learner's need.

Step 3.

I adopted moderate motivation to stimulate the slow learners and average children. You should, as much as possible, try to create solutions to problems in an orderly. You have to try to get the active involvement of your learners in problem-solving situations.

Step 4.

I used pictures, diagrams, visual aids, and audio teaching aids to keep them stable and conversant. By so doing, their sense of creativity will boost.


2. Motivation.

Sometimes, a learner may feel weary of assignments or class activities. It happens to everyone. Even teachers complain when they feel neglected or underpaid. They may go on strike as a sign of lack of motivation. Due to insufficient salary, and unavailability of facilities to work.

Motivation, therefore, refers to the forces that maintain and alter the quality of intensity and direction of behavior. It helps to get work done easier. When you encourage your learners, they become more attentive to the learning situations.

Motivation is the principle that can help the learner to learn and remember.

What can I do to motivate the learner?

You have to adopt the following practices to motivate your learner;

  • Arouse interest in the child, show them that you are interested in them.
  • Listen to their individual needs and concerns and explain the possibility of meeting such needs and concerns.
  • Encourage intrinsic motivation, self-direction, and the enjoyment of doing something good for its own sake.
  • Ensure you grant them a break and rest to refresh their mind.
  • Give them home assignments based on the topics you have taught them. It is discouraging to give homework on a topic you have not treated.
  • Give external rewards to the merited ones.

3. Human Development

There is a need for you to master the various stages of human development. Such knowledge will enable you to ;

  • Understand the normal process of development. Physical, intellectual, and motor development. You should apply the observation approach to notice the concept of growth development negatively influenced by the environment.

Environment refers to different types of surrounding in which a developing child find himself. Environmental factors affect human development. For instance, a child who finds himself in a comfortable environment such as wealthy parents, good homes, good water supply, medical facilities, radio, and television sets is liable to a high-functioning level of development.

But a child who finds himself in a poor environment such as indigent parents, illiterate parents, inadequate food supply, and lack of stimulating home is likely to have problems in his growth and development as a human being.

  • Know what children should learn at each normal stage to avoid unrealistic expectations of the children to be adults in their life.
  • Know when and where there is a deviation, lag, or retardation. Use the case study approach to point out those with a learning disability. Contact
  • Understand that there are variations in development. For instance, the tallest student in the class may not be the most intelligent person.

4. Reward

A reward may be social, such as clapping, or tangible, such as giving an exercise book, money, etc. You have to do it to strengthen a desirable behavior.

It is important to reward good behaviors. Anyone who does something worthy and reaps the benefit is likely to repeat the act; that means the behavior will occur again.

Reward and motivation are two sides of one coin. You can reward them through praises. Using lovely pet names is helpful. Children like recognition.
Recognize them on their birthdays with a gift to show love.

5. Punishment

Punishment is one of the principles that control undesirable behavior. It reinforces to depress a negative behavior such as truancy and unprovoked aggression. Any unethical behavior attracts corrective measures so that the offender associates the behavior with its consequences.

However, you have to be careful about the side effects of punishments such as;

  • It may produce other undesirable behavior such as aggression towards you, the teacher
  • The person punished may avoid you as he identifies you with it.
  • Punishment may stimulate other forms of immoral behavior, such as lying.

What do you think here?

© 2021 Chinyere Okoye

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