By Deborah P. Britzman

Makes use of psychoanalytic theories of studying to discover modern concerns in schooling.

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Extra info for After-Education: Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, and Psychoanalytic Histories of Learning

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174). In conceiving of such a limit, say in thinking that knowledge and phantasy are no longer binary oppositions, what else can happen to educational knowledge and our desire to know and be known? The force of these traumatic conflicts in terms of the Controversial Discussions is reminiscent of earlier events, suggesting the uncanny time of trauma, what Sigmund Freud termed Nachträglichkeit,8 a psychical temporality that is recursive in its structure and delayed in its knowable effect. When Ernest Jones founded the British Psychoanalytical Society in 1919, its first problem was one of membership.

Everything in the instituted which, in the event, can cut deep with distress and indetermination is so threatening that the reasonable mind cannot fail to fear in it, and rightly, an inhuman power of deregulation. (4–5) This melancholy education is made from the least pedagogical experiences, namely, processes of psychical growth: learning to give up magical and omnipotent thinking, noticing when the desire for mastery and absolute knowledge domesticates curiosity and our capacity to be surprised, having to enter into a law greater than the self, and accepting our own fragility, dependence, and faults.

Their views of how a child was influenced shaped their thinking on the analyst’s approach. For Anna Freud, the analyst must win over the child and be prepared to open some possibilities through confidence building, while foreclosing others by rational persuasion and assuming the position of authority. Melanie Klein felt the child was already under the sway of bellicose internal reality; the analyst’s work was to occupy these tensions, through interpretation to the child, without the promise of betterment and without an appeal to authority.

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