Psychopedagogical Diagnosis: Characteristics, Elements, Phases, Example

The  psychopedagogical diagnosis  is one of the fundamental phases of any personalized teaching process, as well as the set of tools that allow it to be carried out correctly. It is based on the study of all the psychological and educational characteristics of a student with the aim of promoting their learning as much as possible.

Although it can be useful in practically any context of knowledge acquisition, the psychopedagogical diagnosis is usually used mainly in cases in which a student has some type of learning problem. Its objective is to know the educational reality of the student as thoroughly as possible.

Based on a good psycho-pedagogical diagnosis, teaching professionals are capable of designing personalized interventions that allow solving the specific educational problem. For this, a multitude of tools are used to know what is happening with the greatest objectivity and depth.

The psychopedagogical diagnosis seeks to understand all the aspects that may be influencing the learning process, from the student’s personality to the possible presence of developmental disorders. In addition, it also tries to understand the context in which the student is.

Characteristics of the psychopedagogical diagnosis

– Seeks to identify a problem

Carrying out a psycho-pedagogical diagnosis can be very useful in many different learning contexts. However, because it is a very expensive process, it is generally only used in those cases in which there is a learning problem that has not been solved in other ways.

In this way, the psychopedagogical diagnosis is usually understood as a process that occurs at a certain time and that only extends as long as necessary to identify the problem and propose solutions for it. Therefore its objective is very clear and does not usually last for a very long period.

– It occurs in formal educational contexts

Anyone looking to acquire new knowledge could benefit from a psychopedagogical diagnosis. However, due to its complex nature and its formal character, in most cases this technique is only used within the formal educational system.

Thus, the most common is to find a psycho-pedagogical diagnosis within schools or institutes, in which the teachers or the counselor are in charge of most of the work.

– Has a specific objective

Unlike other educational techniques with some similar characteristics, psychopedagogical diagnosis has a very practical nature. In this way, its main objective is to understand the problems that can lead a person to not meet their learning goals, and to design an appropriate intervention based on what has been discovered.

This means that by nature the psycho-pedagogical diagnosis is a tool that has a very defined life cycle: it begins to be applied when an educational problem is detected for which no solution is found, and it stops being used at the moment in which the action plan to follow.


The objective of a psychopedagogical diagnosis is to know as deeply as possible the characteristics of a student and the context in which they are, in order to design a personalized intervention that helps them solve their learning problems. Because of this, it is necessary to take into account a multitude of different elements.


On the one hand, the first thing that will be studied will be the personal characteristics of the student. This can include all kinds of different elements, from your personality and its most prominent traits to others such as your ability to manage your emotions, your interests, your level of motivation or the possible learning problems that you may present.

Biological factors

Certain biological elements will also be taken into account. In this sense, the presence of certain developmental disorders stands out, such as dyslexia, autism spectrum disorders, ADD or hyperactivity.


Knowing the context in which the student moves is also essential to formulate a correct psychopedagogical diagnosis. Aspects such as their relationship with their parents or with classmates, their academic history, the characteristics of the center and their socioeconomic situation can help to better understand the nature of the learning problems presented by a student.

Phases of psychopedagogical diagnosis

1- Investigation of the problem

Once it has been detected that there is a severe difficulty in learning and it has been determined that it is necessary to carry out a psychopedagogical diagnosis, the first step is to carry out a deep and exhaustive investigation into the situation. In it, all the elements that we have seen in the previous section will be studied.

The idea behind this phase is to collect as much information as possible about the student’s situation and the most likely causes of his problem. This has the objective that the next phase, in which the diagnosis itself is sought, is as simple as possible.

2- Psychopedagogical diagnosis

This phase begins as soon as all existing data on the student’s difficulties has been collected. In it, professionals try to make a diagnosis based on what they have discovered so far, so that they can come up with an action plan to solve the problem.

3- Proposal of the action plan

With all the data already collected and the diagnosis completed, the next step involves carrying out an action plan with which it is intended to solve the student’s learning problem.

If the two previous phases have been carried out correctly, this stage will be very simple thanks to the existence of an abundant literature on the most common learning disorders.

4- Implementation and review

The last phase of a psychopedagogical diagnosis has to do with the implementation of the action plan and the review by the teaching team of the results obtained.

If the problem has been solved, the intervention will be considered a success; but if the expected results have not been obtained, it will be necessary to start the process again.


Marcos is a 1st year high school student who has a lot of trouble keeping up with his classmates. After conducting a thorough investigation with the child, his counselor determines that he has attention deficit disorder, which prevents him from concentrating and learning as well as he could.

Having detected the problem, the teaching team can arrange their classes to minimize Marcos’ difficulties, and help the student himself to manage his special needs through techniques designed exclusively for this pathology.


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