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Uses psychoanalytic theories of learning to explore contemporary issues in education.
In After-Education Deborah P. Britzman raises the startling question, What is education that it should give us such trouble? She explores a series of historic and contemporary psychoanalytic arguments over the nature of reality and fantasy for thinking through the force and history of education. Drawing from the theories of Anna Freud and Melanie Klein, she analyzes experiences of difficult knowledge, pedagogy, group psychology, theory, and questions of loneliness in learning education. Throughout the book, education appears and is transformed in its various guises: as a nervous condition, as social relation, as authority, as psychological knowledge, as quality of psychical reality, as fact of natality, as the thing between teachers and students, as an institution, and as a play between reality and fantasy.
"This book addresses the very grounds of teaching and learning, in terms of intrapsychic and intersubjective possibility. The thought presented is brilliant, down-to-earth, and compassionate." Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, author of A Dialogue on Love
"After-Education continues Deborah Britzman's research on 'difficult knowledge,' which she explores in her two earlier books. In her new book, she inquires into the relevance of child analysis to the field of education. Whereas most psychoanalysts have felt that they must make a choice between Anna Freud or Melanie Klein, Britzman shows how they both contribute in different ways to an understanding of education. Britzmans keen insight, maturity, and compassion are evident throughout her new book. A close reading of After-Education will enrich anyone's education." Jeffrey Berman, author of Risky Writing: Self-Disclosure and Self-Transformation in the Classroom
"Britzman moves within and through the fields of psychoanalysis and education with rare fluency. Her ability to elicit the implications of a very wide range of ideas and to explore the interrelations among very different perspectives on psychic life makes reading this book an intellectually and emotionally rich experience. Illuminating." Murray M. Schwartz, coeditor of Memory and Desire: Aging—Literature—Psychoanalysis
Deborah P. Britzman is Professor of Education, Social and Political Thought, and Women's Studies at York University. She is the author of Practice Makes Practice: A Critical Study of Learning to Teach, Revised Edition and Lost Subjects, Contested Objects: Toward a Psychoanalytic Inquiry of Learning, both published by SUNY Press.
Table of Contents
1. Difficult Education
2. The Freud-Klein Controversies As a Problem of Education
3. Why Return to Anna Freud?
4. "Thoughts Awaiting Thinkers": Group Psychology and Educational Life
5. Theory Kindergarten
6. Loneliness in Education: Toward a Compassionate Inquiry