Thus, issues central to the current interests of educational psychologists have been the subject of discussion throughout the centuries.
To understand the characteristics of learners in childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age, educational psychology develops and applies theories of human development. "Often cast as stages through which people pass as they mature, developmental theories describe changes in mental abilities (cognition), social roles, moral reasoning, and beliefs about the nature of knowledge"1.
"The most influential of these developmental theories is Jean Piaget's theory of development, according to which children mature through four stages of cognitive capability"2. Piaget also proposed a developmental theory of moral reasoning in which children progress from a naive understanding of morality based on behaviour and outcomes to a more advanced understanding based on intentions. Piaget's views of moral development were elaborated by Kohlberg into a stage theory of moral development. The basic underlying concept of both Piaget's and Kohlberg's theories is that these developmental theories are presented not as shifts between qualitatively different stages, but as gradual increments on separate dimensions.
These two theories represent the basis for further research and the practical application of the gained knowledge in the field of educational psychology. ...
chology to create effective theories and practical application of those theories to assist learners that have cognitive, behavioural and other learning disabilities. When dealing with learners with such problems, there are 2 main aspects to consider: the student with the problem, and the teacher involved in the educational process. Lately, educational psychologists have been focusing more on the teachers, rather on identifying the students with the problems, since in the previous centuries there has been extensive research in that area. Psychologists mostly explore the perception of the teachers of the students, and how teachers adapt to the needs of the student accordingly. This is believed to be the first step towards improving the educational program concerning students with learning disabilities. With the research done by Sheila O. Walker and Robert Plomin, teachers' perception was shown concerning genetic and environmental influence on personality, intelligence, behaviour problems, learning difficulties, and mental illness. For these five domains of behaviour, the percentages of teachers who reported that genetics were at least as important as environment were .87, .94, .43, .94, and .91, respectively. They also found that 80% of teachers reported no coverage of genetics during teacher training. (The Nature & Nurture Question: Teachers' perceptions of how genes and the environment influence educationally relevant behaviour; volume 25, Number 5 / October 2005, Educational Psychology). In a another research, which deals with the behaviour problems that high school teachers find most troublesome, found that similar behaviours were reported as troublesome in the secondary school classroom compared with the primary classroom, although differences were demonstrated