Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, and Psychoanalytic Histories of Learning

By Deborah P. Britzman

Subjects: Psychoanalysis
Paperback : 9780791456743, 222 pages, February 2003
Hardcover : 9780791456736, 222 pages, February 2003

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Table of contents


1. Difficult Education

2. The Freud-Klein Controversies As a Problem of Education

3. Why Return to Anna Freud?

4. "Thoughts Awaiting Thinkers": Group Psychology and Educational Life

5. Theory Kindergarten

6. Loneliness in Education: Toward a Compassionate Inquiry




Uses psychoanalytic theories of learning to explore contemporary issues in education.


In After-Education Deborah P. Britzman raises the startling question, What is education that it should give us such trouble? She explores a series of historic and contemporary psychoanalytic arguments over the nature of reality and fantasy for thinking through the force and history of education. Drawing from the theories of Anna Freud and Melanie Klein, she analyzes experiences of difficult knowledge, pedagogy, group psychology, theory, and questions of loneliness in learning education. Throughout the book, education appears and is transformed in its various guises: as a nervous condition, as social relation, as authority, as psychological knowledge, as quality of psychical reality, as fact of natality, as the thing between teachers and students, as an institution, and as a play between reality and fantasy.

Deborah P. Britzman is Professor of Education, Social and Political Thought, and Women's Studies at York University. She is the author of Practice Makes Practice: A Critical Study of Learning to Teach, Revised Edition and Lost Subjects, Contested Objects: Toward a Psychoanalytic Inquiry of Learning, both published by SUNY Press.