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Skorczewski, D. (2008). Analyst as Teacher / Teacher as Analyst: A Confusion of Tongues?. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 56(2):367-389.

(2008). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 56(2):367-389

Psychoanalytic Education Section: Original Papers

Analyst as Teacher / Teacher as Analyst: A Confusion of Tongues?

Dawn Skorczewski

An ad hoc volunteer force, psychoanalytic educators must make do with little formal preparation in teaching methods before they enter the classroom. When they inevitably encounter common pedagogical problems, they often attribute their difficulty to a personal failure or the recalcitrance of candidates, but rarely to a lack of instruction in the craft of teaching. Given this situation, how can analysts who spend most of their time with patients learn to lead productive classroom discussions? How can they enhance participation when discussions become stale and strained? Most important, how can they determine whether candidates actually learn something in their classes? It is only slight exaggeration to say that the answers to these questions cannot be found in the thousands of pages that the profession has devoted to the subject of psychoanalytic education. A supplementary literature of psychoanalytic education is proposed that would directly address pedagogical issues through close attention to the goals and outcomes of courses and through case studies of moment-to-moment interactions in the classroom.

If you would take the trouble to examine … the much veiled, yet very critical way of thinking and speaking to your children, patients and pupils and to loosen, as it were, their tongues, … I am sure you will gain a good deal of instructive material.

—Sandor Ferenczi (1949, pp. 225, 230)

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