This article guides you about how is psychoanalysis used in education.
Psycho-analysis has given rise to many movements and practices which have provided a stimulus to new education. It has changed the conception of education and intended its aim. Education is no longer considered as restraint to be achieved by external regulatory means such as punishment and rewards.
The aim of education is the development of the whole personality – the development of intellect as well as emotions for socially desirable purposes.
Psychoanalysis has laid stress on such psychological incentives as love, use of instincts, permissiveness and leniency and the child’s own will or interest. It has thrown light on and explained the variations that we find in the assimilation of various subjects among different children. This means that specific disabilities may be due to affective inhibition among other causes.
Psychoanalysis has explained the child’s resistance to learning in terms of unfavourable environmental conditions, unsympathetic and critical teachers and parents, lack of preparations and emotional blocking caused by anxiety and aggression in the form of phobias or due to inharmonious parent-child or intra-parental relationships.
Psychoanalysis, thus, brings out the importance or proper environment for the education of children. The environment in the school and in the home should be such as to reduce the chances of repression and increase the chances of sublimation. It should provide opportunities for spontaneous and creative activities and for all sublimations.
Psychoanalysis has stressed the significance of play in the education of children. Play along with other natural interests of children should determine the various curricular and cocurricular activities in the school. This emphasis play has given rise to play therapy and play-way as important techniques in the treatment of scholastic and emotional problems.
That psychoanalysis has given impetus to such movements as ‘childguidance’, mental hygiene, ‘paido-centricism’ as well as “freedom of the child”, cannot be denied. The latter has popularised such concepts as ‘free discipline’.
Importance of respecting the child’s individuality at an early age, of studying the early years of the child, of evaluating the standards of behaviour from a new angle, of recognising the strength of sex-impulse and sex-education are the other contributions of psychoanalysis to education.
One of the significant contributions, however, is the understanding that psychoanalysis has imparted of ‘mal-adjustments’ in children’s behaviour and delinquencies in adolescence. Emotional conflicts due to defective inter-personal relationships within the family, repression of the child’s between the unconscious needs and the demand or reality have been highlighted as important causes without minimising the significance of the inadequate environmental conditions such as the broken home, poor economic situations, bad neighbourhood, inadequate school programmes, lack of proper recreational facilities and others.
To conclude, we can say that much of what is progressive in New Education, can be traced to the influence of psychoanalysis.