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What does an Assistant Educational Psychologist do?

D. Jeffress
D. Jeffress

An assistant educational psychologist studies how students learn in educational institutions such as primary schools and universities. He or she works alongside other research experts to analyze student behavior and develop new, more effective teaching and testing methods. Professionals develop theories, conduct research studies, and publish their findings in hopes of improving the school system for current and future generations. Most educational psychologists and their assistants do not provide direct counseling to students and parents, a job that is better suited for school psychologists who have different training.

In most research settings, a licensed psychologist directs and oversees the work of the assistant educational psychologist. The assistant is often responsible for working out the details of a study that was originally designed by the lead psychologist. He or she might be asked to write grant proposals, find research participants, and gather the materials needed for the study. Once the project is underway, the assistant educational psychologist organizes data that can later be reviewed and compiled into a scientific journal paper.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Assistant educational psychologists may also work in actual schools to personally observe the learning process. Under the guidance of a lead psychologist, an assistant might look for certain behaviors of students or teachers that affect how well material is learned. He or she may also analyze performance on different types of tests to determine the best ways of measuring knowledge. The results obtained can be used to encourage administrators and government officials to adjust their ideas about how students should be taught.

A person who wants to become an assistant educational psychologist usually needs to first obtain a bachelor's degree in psychology from an accredited university. It may be possible to find a job in the field immediately after graduation, but most hopeful workers decide to enroll in two-year master's degree programs instead to improve their credentials and their chances of finding permanent employment. Many graduate programs emphasize the importance of practical experience and help their students find educational psychology internships. After earning a degree and passing requisite regional or national licensing tests, an individual can apply for assistant educational psychologist jobs at public schools, colleges, and private research institutions.

Most assistants are eventually able to become fully-licensed educational psychologists with a few years of experience and practical educations. Depending on the region, a person may need to take additional certification exams before he or she can work independently. Experienced, respected educational psychologists generally have many options to branch out into other fields, such as textbook writing and teaching, if they choose to do so.

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