Freudian Notion of Psychoanalysis: Its Implications in Contemporary Teaching Practices

Muhammad Afzal Awan


The author has engaged in a critical review of Frued's notion of psychoanalysis and its vitality in teaching.  Illustrating from Freud's own assertions and through the interpretations of the later critics, the author has pointed out certain noticeable pitfalls and, or incapacities of contemporary teaching practices. The forces of aggression and sex exert their influence through the unconscious drives to make teaching, holds Freud, one of the 'impossible' professions.  Impossibility of teaching does not imply an absolute failure of all what education stands for, but it refers to the challenges of the problematic nature of the profession. Teaching a child entails a tug of war between 'conscious self' and 'unconscious drives'. This tug of war is organized by ill-conceived notions of love, kindness, motherhood associated with teachers. On the contrary, the contemporary teaching practices are guided by coercive methods of subjugation, standardized tests and institutional control. None but the leaner suffers in this predicament. This is how more damage than the benefit is suspected from education. The author concludes that a more liberal environment can create a space for the leaner to appease the vulnerable impulses of sex and aggression without affecting the natural creativity which is probably the greatest intrinsic capital to invest for great gains. Frued's notion of psychoanalysis can be a means to an end but not an end in itself. It can defend teaching from failing in its pursuits; if the failure is predetermined, teachers may fail honorably rather than miserably.


psychoanalysis, aggression, unconscious drives, conscious self, teaching practices

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