Lacanian psychoanalysis and its implications for educational research method
In much of educational philosophy and sciences the fundamental concepts are the subject conceived of as conscious and constituting and the learning process conceived of as a matter of cognition. This article asks what the effect would be on educational research method and educational theory in general if the fundamental concept were the subject in the sense of the psychoanalytic subject of the unconscious. The aim of the article is not a critique of any sound scientific effort to supply evidence for what can count as best practice and which methods would increase school effectiveness. Rather, its purpose is to point out an inherent impossibility of such an effort. The concepts which serve to point out this impossibility are the subject of the unconscious and transference. The effects of the unconscious, the unconscious processes of transference can make any educational method and practice ineffective, and, conversely, any didactical method, no matter how "outmoded", can in practice turn out to be effective. In other words, both failure and success may mistakenly be ascribed to didactical methods rather than unconscious processes of transference. Psychoanalysis can provide educational research with useful concepts that can facilitate the perception and analysis of both unpredictable failure and surprising success in the educational processes.
International Journal of Research and Method in Education, 2009, Vol 32, Issue 3, p. 285-296