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F., G. (1956). Psychoanalysis and the Education of the Child: By Gerald H. J. Pearson, M.D. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1954. 357 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 25:91-92.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:91-92

Psychoanalysis and the Education of the Child: By Gerald H. J. Pearson, M.D. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1954. 357 pp.

Review by:
G. F.

Psychoanalysts have devoted much attention to such theoretical problems of education as sublimation and the development of the superego. Problems of early training and of nursery education have been favorite studies. But about the education of the older child in grade school and high school few analysts have cared to write. Why do children learn or fail to learn to read or do arithmetic? What explains, and what can be done about, the child in junior high school whose school work rather suddenly ceases to interest him and to be well performed? Some excellent studies of these questions exist, but the pressing practical problems met with in schools are in general neglected by applied psychoanalysis. Dr. Pearson attempts to answer many of these problems; unfortunately, many others are at present insoluble, simply because data are lacking.

He presents a thorough review of theoretical psychoanalytic understanding of such broad subjects as the organization of the ego, identification, and the primary process. His discussion is clear, novel, and interesting. This theoretical part of the book is encyclopedic in its completeness. Other chapters are devoted to disorders of the process of learning, including organic as well as psychological difficulties. This section is also comprehensive; it is likely to be the most useful such discussion available to the psychoanalyst concerned with education. Educators and others concerned with children desperately need a psychopathology of the interferences with learning as helpful for diagnosis and treatment as our psychopathology of neurosis.

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