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ERIC Number: EJ1087413
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0362-6784
The "Human Problem" in Educational Research: Notes from the Psychoanalytic Archive
Farley, Lisa
Curriculum Inquiry, v45 n5 p437-454 2015
In this paper, I theorize fantasies of idealization at work in narratives of educational research. I take as an example one of the very first psychoanalytically oriented studies in the field: Marion Milner's, "The Human Problem in Schools," published in 1938. Evidence is drawn from Milner's published book as well as from the historical context and archived disagreements that surround the study's unfolding. My aim is to trace how constructions of knowledge in research are shaped by unconscious fantasies that are the mind's earliest resources for trying to make sense of the unknown world. The paper identifies in archived correspondence a tendency to idealize one's own knowledge in the face of controversy. To conclude, I establish a relationship between Milner's turn to an overtly psychoanalytic orientation and her capacity to move from a defensive position of mastery to a creative position of interpretation. Nearly a century after its publication, I suggest that Milner's study is prescient today for the way it raises questions about the status of fantasy and emotional conflict in narratives of teaching and learning that echo within narratives of educational research as well.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A