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What are educational and developmental psychologists?

Educational and Developmental Psychologists are professionals who use their knowledge of learning, development, behaviour, motivation, and emotion to help people achieve across academic, social, behavioural, and emotional domains. They work across the lifespan - from childhood to adulthood - promoting positive outcomes across various developmental stages and challenges. Their work often involves assessment, intervention, and support for individuals, groups, families, professionals, organisations, aged care facilities, early intervention and educational settings.

Unique aspects of Educational and developmental psychologists

Educational and Developmental Psychologists offer unique skills. They have an in-depth understanding of how people learn and develop over time. They are uniquely positioned to address not just mental health issues, but also promote wellbeing, learning, resilience, optimise performance, and navigate developmental transitions. Their expertise spans both many contexts, such as educational settings where they assess, identify and support people with learning difficulties; aged care settings where they focus on positive ageing that extends beyond simply pathologising ageing; and development across the lifespan where they assess and address developmental disorders by aiding transitions between life stages using strengths-based approaches; just to name a few.

Why do educational and developmental psychologists need advocacy?

Educational and Developmental Psychology as a field necessitates strong advocacy to highlight its critical role in the health and well-being of individuals and communities.  It is an area of practice that often flies under the radar, but its contribution to improving educational outcomes and promoting healthy development across the lifespan is undeniable. Advocacy helps ensure equitable resource allocation, policy support, and recognition for this skill set within broader psychological, organisational, and educational contexts. There are clear inequalities in the way the Australian Government and other related bodies allocate funding and recognise the advanced training of Educational and Developmental Psychologists, despite equivalent (and in some cases, superior) training to other areas of practice.

Why hire an educational and developmental psychologist?

Investing in Educational and Developmental Psychologists is a strategic move for any business or organisation. These professionals offer a unique perspective, grounding business strategies in an understanding of human development and learning processes. They can support employee wellbeing, promote effective learning within organisations, and provide guidance on navigating change - all of which directly contribute to improving productivity and workplace culture.

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