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Ekstein, R. Motto, R.L. (1964-65). Psychoanalysis and Education: A Reappraisal. Psychoanal. Rev., 51D(4):29-44.

(1964-65). Psychoanalytic Review, 51D(4):29-44

Psychoanalysis and Education: A Reappraisal

Rudolf Ekstein, Ph.D. and Rocco L. Motto, M.D.

…. The relationship of psychoanalysis to education is complex. In a first approach the inclination may be to characterize it as one between a basic science and a field of application. Psychoanalytic propositions aim at indicating why human beings behave as they do under given conditions. The educator may turn to these propositions in his attempts to influence human behavior. The propositions then become part of his scientific equipment which naturally include propositions from other basic sciences. In any relationship between a more general set of propositions and a field of application outside the area of experience from which these propositions were derived, a number of factors must be taken into account. The more general propositions, in this instance those of psychoanalysis, must be formulated in a way that permits their operation in the field, here that of education. The process of application is likely to act as a test of the validity of the propositions or of the usefulness of their formulation. Hence we are dealing not merely with a process of diffusion of knowledge from a “higher” to a “lower” level, from the more “general” to the “applied” field, but with a process of communication between experts trained in different skills in which cross-fertilization of approaches is likely to occur.15

Through most of the history of psychoanalysis we find bridges which lead from the area of psychoanalysis to the area of education.

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