SEVEN CONSEQUENCES OF JUNG’S PSYCHOLOGY ON EDUCATION
According to Jung (1976), human beings are endowed with four psychological functions which enable them to relate to the world. These are: thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition. However, in a given individual, these four functions are not equally developed and continue to more or less evolve throughout his or her entire life. For Jung, human psyche is also largely unconscious and for a part, called the collective unconscious, common to all human beings and therefore independent of individual personal experiences. This common part contains archetypes, i.e. psychological structures shared by every one of us, such as the ones we can recognize in fundamental life events and myths (birth, death, hero, old wise man, father, mother, child, the union of opposites, eternity, Mother Nature, certain numbers...). Obviously, such a complex and by definition necessarily undetermined model of the human psyche should have consequences when applied to the field of education, and this has been recognized before (Jung, 1963; Mayes, 2005). But what are these consequences and to what extent do they agree or disagree with currently advocated pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning? In this presentation, we shall explore seven consequences which can be drawn from Jung’s psychology, and which for most comfort prevailing ideas on education and learner development, while limiting their range, and for others seriously question their postulates. Specifically, we shall address consequences about: the general goal of education, learning modes and learning styles, the ideal character of integral pupil development, the irreducible indeterminacy of learning and its impact on assessment, the relation teacher-pupil as a pragmatic statement, and finally the probable archetypical and therefore “unlearned” character of the most fundamental learning. Needless to say, this last consequence can be a subject of fiery discussions.
Jung, C.G. (1976). Psychological Types. Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Bollingen Series XX, Volume 6, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, c1971, 608 p.
Jung, C.G. (1963). Psychologie et éducation. Paris : Buchet/Chastel, 266 p.
Mayes, C. (2005). Jung and Education. Elements of an Archetypal Pedagogy. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Education, 207 p.