Available to supervise graduate students Currently taking on work-study students, Graduate Assistants or Volunteers Scholarly Interests Britzman research concerns the histories of psychoanalysis with education. Known for her formulaton of "difficult knowledge", her studies of the emotional situation of teaching and learning now turn to questions of the historicity of social toleration, the notion of the social bond and mental health. Britzman was recently awarded a Tier 1 York Chair in Pedagogy and psychosocial transformations, a five year appointment. Melanie Klein: Early analysis, play and the question of freedom. Springer Press Britzman, D.
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Whereas teacher education seems to debate questions about the adequacy of Whereas teacher education seems to debate questions about the adequacy of its structures, it has forgotten its place in the world and its obligations to world making. However, teacher education has not yet grappled with a theory of knowledge that can analyze social fractures, profound social violence, decisions of disregard, and how from such devastations, psychological significance can be made.
Returning to an earlier history and drawing upon philosophers who were also concerned with the relation between teacher education and social reparation, this article advocates for a view of teacher education that can tolerate existential and ontological difficulties, psychical complexities, and learning from history. If it is a truism that to teach, teachers must engage knowledge, it is also right to observe that as the new century unfolds, there is still little agreement in our field of teacher education as to which knowledge matters or even what might be the matter with knowledge.
Nor is there much understanding regarding how those trying to teach actually learn from their practices, their students, or their incidental anxieties made from acquiring experience. We cannot agree on the length of the practicum, on whether the 19th-century apprentice model is still relevant, or even the future of schooling itself. Various learning taxonomies developed throughout this century try to settle these doubts; yet, however elaborated or simplified, the measures offered never seem adequate for the uncertainties of teaching and learning.
It is difficult, then, to even find the subject of teacher education, so inundated is our field with the romance of cognitive styles, the rumblings of brain research, the idealization of information and standards, and the parade of new diagnoses of learning failures: attention deficit disorders, overstimulation, understimulation, and not enough Mozart.
At the beginning of this new century, in the confusion of our times, we seem to have a better idea of all that we lack than we have a notion as to what makes understanding so difficult Britzman, , or even how we might think about the psychological significance of teacher education.
We do know more about what holds education and teacher education back. There is the force of governmental interdictions, censoring both ideas and the personal lives of teachers and students. Our own definitions of professionalism preclude complications of selves and then ask for compliance and conformity.
We have made great strides in emptying the curriculum from debating itself. Symptoms of these mala-dies can be observed: camera surveillance devises, weapon detectors, and corporate ID tags for students and teachers. Behind these symptoms is the stultifying dream of uniting the nation through a common curriculum made safe from any controversy. And then we are caught in a repetitive debate over whether schools and teacher education can or should be able to prevent eruptions of social violence.
The old question of what schooling is for becomes utterly entangled with what it means to think Research Interests:.
Books by Deborah P. Britzman