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Does knowing psychology or sociology help when teaching?

My goal is to be a teacher but I'm also interested in psychology and sociology and wonder if having a background in those would help me understand my students better. #teaching #psychology-education #sociology #psychology

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Kim’s Answer


Having a background in Sociology or Psychology definitely helps you in relating to people, in general. It helps you to be more open-minded, and less ethnocentric. However, the regular Education curriculum should include some course material on cultural awareness and things like that, I would think. I believe if you have free electives, you can take psychology/sociology courses, but I would not make it a minor or anything like that, unless you were planning to teach these particular courses at the HS level.

I believe being a Sociology major helped to make me a good police officer. However, most of it is really common sense. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Thank you for wanting to be a teacher! It's a very important role, and very challenging. I wish you the best!


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Hannah’s Answer

Hi, Sabrina!

This a great question! Being an educator does not only require knowledge of curriculum and content, but how to best work with students, their parents, and other colleagues in your school. Having a deeper understanding of behavior and how to build positive relationships with students will help you maintain great classroom management, and in turn, positive learning outcomes within your classroom. Remember, people are complicated beings and knowing more about how to work with others can only help you!

Good luck!

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Howard’s Answer

Yes, both those fields of study will give you very valuable insight when it comes to working with students, parents, and fellow teachers as well. Most colleges do require some psychology and related classes as part of their teaching programs.

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Linda Ann’s Answer

Yes, you will be a better teacher if you understand how students are motivated (or de-motivated); how their behaviors - good and bad - are developed and maintained. Behavioral and learning principles are very important to effective teaching.

What is also important is showing empathy for your students.