The discourse of education—the discourse of the slave

Educational Philosophy and Theory 38 (2):145–158 (2006)
The current cult of the personality of the teacher and personal development as an official goal in education policy documents are problematic as they make it difficult to distinguish a teacher from a seducer, thus blurring the distinction between education and therapy. In order to describe the pedagogical bond proper the article draws on Lacanian psychoanalytic concepts such as identification, suggestion, and transference. Lacan's distinction between the discourse of the university and the discourse of the master is presented in order to clarify, firstly, the formal characteristics of a pedagogical social bond, and secondly, the difference between being authoritative and being authoritarian. Furthermore, the psychoanalytic concept of the unconscious serves to point towards the fundamental unpredictability of pedagogical praxis. As teachers we are dealing with subjects and not with the individuals, persons or egos of psychology
Keywords transference  suggestion  the discourse of the master  psychoanalysis  the discourse of the university  Lacan  identification  the subject
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DOI 10.1111/j.1469-5812.2006.00184.x
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