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Zachry, C.B. (1941). The Influence of Psychoanalysis in Education. Psychoanal Q., 10:431-444.

(1941). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 10:431-444

The Influence of Psychoanalysis in Education

Caroline B. Zachry

In evaluating the influence of any new trends upon educational theory and practice, it must be borne in mind that organized education is a very ancient and massive institution. Its scholastic traditions go back to the universities of the early Middle Ages. Much of this original heritage is still alive today, though for the most part it has undergone a slow and continuous change over the centuries. The inertia that is bound to be characteristic of such an old institution has been augmented by the growing size of the educational system. The schools of the United States, for example, are now attempting to serve thirty million children and to carry out this huge task as efficiently and economically as possible. School administrators are quite naturally resistant to any changes that may disturb or dislocate the existing organization of their schools, especially if the changes threaten to be expensive and the results uncertain.

It has required a tremendously powerful force to turn such a ponderous institution as the school system towards a new direction. That such a force has been at work is apparent in recent trends in education, and the extent to which Freud's discoveries are reflected in these trends is truly impressive—all the more so because this influence upon education is largely indirect. Freud himself did not attempt to formulate the pedagogical implications of psychoanalysis. In all of his writings there are few references to education. It was Anna Freud, a teacher as well as an analyst, who began the exploration of the direct application of psychoanalysis to children.

The progressive movement in education was begun under the influence of psychological knowledge that had no explicit connection with freudian concepts.

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