A Psychoanalyst in the Classroom

On the Human Condition in Education

By Deborah P. Britzman

Subjects: Education, Philosophy, Philosophy Of Education, Psychoanalysis, Educational Psychology
Series: SUNY series, Transforming Subjects: Psychoanalysis, Culture, and Studies in Education
Paperback : 9781438457321, 188 pages, July 2016
Hardcover : 9781438457338, 188 pages, September 2015

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Table of contents

1. A Psychoanalyst in the Classroom: Character Studies in the Human Condition of Education
2. “A Unexpected Novelty”: Freud’s Technique Papers Go to the University
3. What Is the Use of Theory?
4. The Adolescent Teacher
5. On the Madness of Lecturing on Gender
6. The Untold Story of the Writing Block
7. The Psychopathologies of Everyday Education: Sleeping, Falling, Forgetting, Lateness, and the Professor’s Mistakes

Offers a new view of pedagogical practices to psychoanalysts interested in pedagogy.


A Psychoanalyst in the Classroom provides rich descriptions of the surprising ways individuals handle matters of love and hate when dealing with reading and writing in the classroom. With wit and sharp observations, Deborah P. Britzman advocates for a generous recognition of the vulnerabilities, creativity, and responsibilities of university learning. Britzman develops themes that include the handling of technique in psychoanalysis and pedagogy, the uses of theory, regression to adolescence, the inner life of gender, the untold story of the writing block, and everyday mistakes in teaching and learning. She also examines the relationship between mental health and experiences of teaching and learning.

Deborah P. Britzman is Distinguished Research Professor of Education at York University, Toronto, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a psychoanalyst. She is the author of many books, including The Very Thought of Education: Psychoanalysis and the Impossible Professions; Practice Makes Practice: A Critical Study of Learning to Teach, Revised Edition; After-Education: Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, and Psychoanalytic Histories of Learning; and Lost Subjects, Contested Objects: Toward a Psychoanalytic Inquiry of Learning, all published by SUNY Press.