About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 4784 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain

DISINTERESTED LEARNERS? PSYCHOANALYTIC VIEW OF LEARNING

E. Sunde

University of Bergen (NORWAY)
This paper aims to heighten the awareness of emotional factors in the process of teaching and learning. The question raised is: To what extent are difficulties in learning emotionally determined and to what extent are they caused by external circumstances?

Teachers provide framework which assists or hinder emotional or mental growth, but they also tend to overrate or underrate the part they play in the development of students’ learning. Psychoanalytic way of thinking is used to understand the learning process and the teacher-student relationship. The quality of this relationship influences the hopefulness required to remain curious and open to new experiences and the capacity to perceive connections and to discover their meaning. Every human being is born with a desire to learn. In the earliest stages of life the learning curiosity is focused on the mother and what is going on inside her. With time the curiosity grows to include other family members and the nature and quality of the relationship between these people and the mother. This initial interest in close family members gradually turns towards the wider world and is the basis for every human being’s desire to learn. Later in life there is a life-long struggle with which we all are faced, about what we can bear to learn and to know about. We live with a tension between a desire to find out and a desire not to know the truth. This is a problem at the heart of learning. New knowledge, or the acceptance of what we already know to be the truth deep down, often arouses angry oppositions.

New knowledge sometimes arouse curiosity and engagement. But new knowledge also arouse hostility, threatens our security, challenges our claims to omniscience, reveals our ignorance and sense of helplessness and releases our latent hatred of what they experience as new and foreign. Human beings with negative experiences in the early years of life, do not introject parental figures in them and their development. They may easily grow up feeling that people do not like them and have no time for them. They feel unable to process and the world is experienced as frightening and bewildering. In the face of overwhelming feelings such as these, human beings erect defensive structures to protect themselves. Unfortunately, these defensive structures often impede learning as well as they protect against anxiety. Students like this seem aloof and disinterested in learning – constantly forgetting books, homework, even ideas. They will continually rub out or throw away work. These might experience a feeling of being forgotten, feeling unwanted to the point of seeing themselves as rubbish.
This feeling is often projected in teachers, who are seen as useless and therefore having nothing to teach. This is the tragedy of deprivation. The initial deprivation of not being thought about, means that the person then deprives himself again the opportunity for learning and support. This is called double deprivation.

It is argued that teachers attribute students’ shortcomings and misfortunes to lack of IQ and upbringing Often they tend to seek the reasons for the student’s difficulties in low IQ or assume that the parents must be at fault, even when she has no first-hand knowledge about them. Teachers seldom attribute students’ learning difficulties to own understanding.
@InProceedings{SUNDE2010DIS,
author = {Sunde, E.},
title = {DISINTERESTED LEARNERS? PSYCHOANALYTIC VIEW OF LEARNING},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {4784}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Sunde
TI - DISINTERESTED LEARNERS? PSYCHOANALYTIC VIEW OF LEARNING
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 4784
EP - 4784
ER -
E. Sunde (2010) DISINTERESTED LEARNERS? PSYCHOANALYTIC VIEW OF LEARNING, ICERI2010 Proceedings, p. 4784.
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