Psychodynamic Theory in Early Childhood Education: A Look at the Contributions of Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, Krik H. Erikson, Susan Isaacs, Bruno Bettelheim, E.C.M. Frijling-Schreuder and Margaret Ribble

Ann V. Dean

Abstract


In this paper I will examine the implications of psychodynamic theory for teaching and learning in early childhood education.

The indivudual pioneering efforts of Anna Freud and Melanie Klein in understanding childhood neurosis and in developing child analysis and "play therapy" will be described and compared. Anna Freud's strong early convictions of the need for a psychoanalytic pedagogy and later disillusionment will be discussed.

Basic psychoanalytic terms such as "the unconscious", "Id, Ego, Superego", "transference" etc. will be broadly defined to illuminate early psychoanalytic theory. A psychohistorical perspective on initial attempts to create a psychoanalytic pedagogy in Europe will be synthesized and current pre-school developmental programs in North America described, programs which draw from psychodynamic theory. The theories of Eric H. Erikson, Susan Isaacs, Bruno Bettelheim, E.C.M. Frijling-Schreuder and Margaret Ribble will be presented.

In conclusion, some criticisms of the psychodynamic theories' impact on education will be aired.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15362/ijbs.v5i0.89

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