It is a well-known fact that educational psychology and sociology are important to equip the teachers with adequate and necessary skills and knowledge to handle the teaching-learning problems of a class effectively. .
So, what exactly is the meaning of educational psychology? Seifert says,.
"It is the study of how learning occurs and of how teaching may help it occur. It includes knowledge about the characteristics or development of learners, about the conditions that promote better learning, about how to accommodate the needs of students with diverse abilities and backgrounds and about how to evaluate learning." (1991, p.5).
Basically it is the study of the development of each individual in the educational settings. The sociology of education, according to Reid could be defined as,.
"It approaches education at a level of abstraction which is essentially concerned with the social institutions of education, from peer groups through classes and schools to the system of education, with institutional composition, structures, procedures, ideologies and functioning (workings and outcomes) and with inter-relationships between education and other institutions." (1986, p.23).
Thus, from the definitions, it is apparent that sociology of education is more concerned with "people" and "society" rather than seeing the students as individuals as in educational psychology. .
One important question, how do sociology and psychology of education help teachers to teach well? Both of these fields have made contributions to education and we shall first look at the contribution of psychology of education. Educational psychology has given the basic knowledge that covers the area of the learners, learning process and evaluation of learning performance. Every teacher needs to know and understand the needs of their students. With their knowledge on this field, they will be aware of the developmental characteristic of the students.