Melanie Klein

Early Analysis, Play, and the Question of Freedom

  • Deborah P. Britzman

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)

Also part of the SpringerBriefs on Key Thinkers in Education book sub series (BRIEFSKEY)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Deborah P. Britzman
    Pages 1-11
  3. Deborah P. Britzman
    Pages 13-24
  4. Deborah P. Britzman
    Pages 25-35
  5. Deborah P. Britzman
    Pages 37-45
  6. Deborah P. Britzman
    Pages 79-91
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 107-112

About this book


This volume introduces the psychoanalyst Melanie Klein to the general field of education and traces her theories of mental life as an emotional situation, through to problems of self/other relations in our own time. The case is made for Klein’s relevance and the difficulties her theories pose to the activities of learning and pedagogical relation.  Klein’s vocabulary—the paranoid/schizoid and depressive positions, phantasy, object relations, projective identification, anxiety, envy, and the urge for reparation and gratitude— are discussed in terms of their evolution and the designs of her main questions, all stemming from the problem of inhibition. Her contribution to an understanding of symbolization and the shift from concrete thinking to greater freedom of mind is analyzed. The essay develops the following questions: why is learning an emotional situation?  How did Klein’s life and larger history influence her views? What are her central theories of mental life? Why did Klein focus on anxiety and phantasies as making up the life of the mind? What is object relations theory? And, what does Klein’s model of the self proffer to contemporary education in schools and in universities?


Child's introjection of the external world Emotional world Phantasy of the other Play therapy Psychoanalysis The Kleinian Group

Authors and affiliations

  • Deborah P. Britzman
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-26083-9
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-26085-3
  • Series Print ISSN 2211-1921
  • Series Online ISSN 2211-193X
  • Buy this book on publisher's site