ERIC Number: EJ893282
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Reference Count: 9
Teachers and Eros
Britzman, Deborah P.
Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, v10 n3 p325-330 Aug 2010
In this article, the author links the force of Eros to the teacher's world to suggest that, if the teacher is the keeper of the student's heart and mind, then a teacher's open-mindedness made from a willingness to be affected by the lives of others is the best pedagogical resource, and the most difficult to sustain. The author's thoughts on Eros emerge from her work as both a psychoanalyst with a clinical practice and a university professor in the field of education. Both psychoanalysis and education are intersubjective worlds, made great by the interest in questioning the way things are with the deepest hopes for something more. This combined world of education and psychoanalysis resides in the emotional situation of learning, itself a relational problem of trying to think with others about the inner world in such a way that both parties feel welcome and involved. Where these worlds take leave of one another is with the psychoanalytic ethic of neutrality, which means listening without pretending that one knows in advance what will or should happen next. Suspending moral judgment to become curious about the unknown is another way to describe neutral listening. In psychoanalytic views, the desire to anticipate meaning before it has its chance to manifest indicates anxiety and frustration. Putting things into words, finding significance and changing one's sense of the self and the world also bring worries over how new feelings and thoughts are received. Since people learn before they understand and since misunderstandings are usually where they begin, feelings of anxiety and frustration are also a part of working with others. Yet what brings these contexts of practice together, what they have in common, is the question of Eros, made dramatic by attitudes and phantasies toward what is most inexplicable about sexual desire. Psychoanalysis teaches that all education is an emotional situation.
Descriptors: Psychiatry, Value Judgment, Anxiety, Psychology, Emotional Response, Teacher Role, Moral Values, Misconceptions, Sexuality, Homosexuality, Social Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A