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Low, B. (1929). A Note on the Influence of Psycho-Analysis Upon English Education During the Last Eighteen Years. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 10:314-320.

(1929). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 10:314-320

A Note on the Influence of Psycho-Analysis Upon English Education During the Last Eighteen Years

Barbara Low

A little more than eighteen years ago, in November 1910, a paper entitled 'Psycho-Analysis and Education', by Dr. Ernest Jones, was published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, and it is of interest to consider how far the suggestions made and the hopes expressed in this essay have been fulfilled during the eighteen years since its first appearance.

This essay was, as far as the present writer knows, the first publication advocating the application of psycho-analysis to educational theory and practice. It sums up tersely, but in a richly suggestive manner, the principal findings which psycho-analysis had at that date revealed. It points out that this new knowledge, if applied, must inevitably alter the trend, both of the child's early education (using 'education' to denote the home-training of the earliest years) and of the later more specific education of a systematic kind; and it shows how the standpoint of the adult in relation to many of the most fundamental problems of his own and the child's personality will undergo a very radical change.

As well as dealing with many specific changes, the essay makes a general plea for greater enlightenment on the part of the teacher concerning mental life, so that he may be able to enter more truly into the mind of the child he is educating. Above all, the author stresses throughout the need for more honest recognition of the sexual and emotional, as well as the intellectual, aspects of human beings. He writes:

It is desirable that education should concern itself more than hitherto with what may be called the human side of the child, and not exclusively with the intellectual.


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