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Eder, M.D. (1927). Dreams and Education: By J. C. Hill, M.Sc. (London: Methuen & Co., Ltd. Pp. 107. 4 s. net.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:113-113.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:113-113

Dreams and Education: By J. C. Hill, M.Sc. (London: Methuen & Co., Ltd. Pp. 107. 4 s. net.)

Review by:
M. D. Eder

The title is somewhat misleading; the author has given more and less than he promises. It is a vividly yet carefully written essay on psycho-analysis, more especially on the interpretation of dreams and the sexual elements in childhood. The interest of Mr. Hill's work is that it is a personal experience; he brings together for brief interpretation a number of dreams—his own and those of others. The application of psycho-analysis to education runs throughout, but without any detailed examination of this difficult question. Mr. Hill rightly insists that the first application must be to the teacher himself, who should learn to understand himself. 'If Freud's discoveries do not change him, they will not improve his teaching.' A great deal of work has to be done before any definite principles can be laid down for the use of psycho-analysis in education—whether in earliest infancy or in the school child: at present psycho-analysts themselves are groping their way. In the outcome lies the hope for preventive medicine in the fields of mental ill-health.

Psycho-analysis does, of course, not claim to lay down the principles of education either in form or content; it claims only that the psycho-analytic approach is one worthy of serious study and real understanding on the part of the educationist. Mr. Hill is one of those educationists who has understood this and psycho-analysts will be grateful to him for his accurate presentation of the scientific thesis involved. There are brief chapters on Instinct and Art, Poetry and the Unconscious; they are slight, but not superficial. Mr. Hill states that he has little experience of abnormal human beings; perhaps this happy circumstance accounts for the relative unimportance in his essay given to intrapsychical conflicts and the development of the ego impulses. The book can be safely commended to those to whom it is especially addressed—parents and teachers.

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