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Spitalny, T. (1954). Psychology in the Nursery School: By Nelly Wolffheim. New York: Philosophical Library, Inc., 1953. 144 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 23:602-603.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:602-603

Psychology in the Nursery School: By Nelly Wolffheim. New York: Philosophical Library, Inc., 1953. 144 pp.

Review by:
Terry Spitalny

The findings of psychoanalysis have been applied in many nursery schools for quite a number of years. Much that is good has come of this—and much that is not so good. Psychology in the Nursery School may, one fears, contribute to the not so good.

The author commits the very crime she warns teachers and parents against throughout her book. She severely scolds the authoritarian adult and then in the most authoritarian tones tells us what is wrong and what is right, and apparently we are to accept her word for it, for she has little room for explanation in her short book. If the book is intended only for psychoanalytically trained teachers, it raises false hopes, for 'oedipus complex', 'infantile sexuality', 'sibling jealousy', and 'aggression' are familiar concepts. What such teachers need is deeper understanding and further clarification, both of which are lacking here. If the book is used by untrained teachers and parents, the results can be disastrous, as some other books already have been.

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