Perhaps the most important time in a child’s life includes their informative years, such as in the years between birth and their high school graduation. A positive learning experience sets the foundation for a child’s success as an adult. Fortunately, when problems do arise, we can thank school psychologists and educational psychologists for assisting our children when they need it the most. If you are interested in pursuing a career in either area, perhaps you are wondering what the differences are in the two fields, for they seem very similar at first glance, but are different.

With an online Doctor of Educational Psychology degree, your program will delve deep into the mind of a child, teach you about how the mind learns and processes information, how the brain functions, how cognitive skills affect their learning abilities and most importantly, how you can help students who are struggling with learning disabilities.

Educational psychologists also often evaluate current learning and teaching methods that are being used in an institution. They may make changes and develop new programs, as well. Often, they are hired to train teachers while evaluating and developing new curricula. Educational psychologists also participate in important research to improve teaching methods.

Working within the field of educational psychology, you will often go where the student is located, typically in a classroom setting, working one-on-one with a student to develop teaching and learning aids, as well as, assessing their abilities. You can also expect to work closely with teachers, school counselors and parents. Your online Doctor of Educational Psychology degree will help you excel in this field, as well as, have a rewarding, yet challenging, career designed to help children in need.

School psychologist, although similar, they tend to focus on a child’s surroundings as a teaching tool. They study the learning environment, such as the classroom setting, along with, their interaction with teachers, parents and other students. In addition, school psychologists sometimes transition from a teaching position into psychology.

Students who need assistance from a school psychologist often have developmental or behavioral issues. They will look to you for emotional support when needed. As bad behavior and learning disabilities can hinder the learning process, a school psychologist works with teachers, principals, social workers and guidance counselors to organize productive and safe learning practices that assuredly promotes a quality education for all students, regardless of their disabilities.

A school psychologist also works closely with families in hopes of developing a stable and pleasant home life, which is conducive to a better education in the classroom. They are the child’s mentor and cheerleader, as they monitor their progress and implement change as needed.

So, which career is for you? One requirement for both options is, of course, a genuine love for children and their well-being. The field of psychology, in any capacity, can be challenging, stressful and gut-wrenching, at times. Both positions involve working in the realm of teaching and learning, just in different ways.

In general, if you enjoy the more scientific approach of studying the human brain and its effects on the ability to learn, then educational psychology is probably an excellent choice for you. If you enjoy working in a collaborative fashion with others such as parents and teachers to improve a student’s learning abilities through their environment, a school psychologist is probably the best choice for you.

If you would like to learn more about this field, please see our list of the Best Online Doctor of Educational Psychology Degree Programs that we have composed for your review.