13 SES 07 A, Education in Times of a Pandemic Crisis: Towards an Adaptation or a Refoundation?
We wish to explore the way in which psychoanalysis allows us to understand the role of education in addressing social problems, by considering the pandemic crisis situation.
The emergency measures imposed to preserve the right to education during the epidemic crisis concerned primarily the organization and methodological support for online training. However, the impacts of social distancing on psyche and on social cohesion quickly led institutions to consider educational requirement as a social need. Therefore, we find it important to question in what way pedagogical continuity participates in this socialization.
It is clear that, in this area, the quest for solutions has remained of a technical nature, avoiding the complexity of human issues. The use of knowledge facing this crisis seems emblematic of what Lacan described as “the discourse of science” according to which the acquisition of knowledge will eventually ensure absolute mastery in the end, dismissing the question of human distress.
Agamben (2020) questions our ability to apprehend our time. The here and now can only be seized as an "already gone" and a "not yet", between mnemonic traces of the past and fantasmatic anticipation. But the point of psychoanalysis is not to provide additional knowledge to decipher the crisis or to solve it. It is to shift from immediate concerns in order to identify what they reveal about our condition as human beings, subjects to the uncertainty principle. It invites us not to respond to instant demand in order to generate a gap that transforms the demand of scientific knowledge into curiosity about what divides us. If we are to hear the complaint attached to the individual or institutional demand, we must therefore signify the existence of concerns of another kind.
This position can generate a feeling of frustration, or even rejection, because it challenges contemporary ideals by not providing an operative solution. However, it does shed light on education by absolving us from its illusions. Above all, it has to do with an ethical principle, aspiring to move away from technological standardization in order to rehabilitate the voice of each individual (Gori, 2015).
According to Arendt, the modern crisis due to breaches in tradition is an occasion to think the essence of education. After Freud, education is a fundamental place where the unavoidable “discontent in culture” is structured and can be expressed.
The question then arises in other terms and leads us to distinguish, with Rassial (2001), two conceptions of the crisis. The first one, in line with the medical register, sees it as a dysfunction that must be eradicated. The second, in support of the Freudian discoveries on the unconscious, sees it as a significant expression of our desire and its impasses. The crisis is understood as an incitement to a renewal of the affirmation of its position in more appeased terms.
Then, it becomes essential to identify what emerges out of the crisis. On an individual level, it allows us to consider what is at the heart of our being. On a social level, it leads to think of the conditions that favor this commitment. The crisis becomes an opportunity to reaffirm its symbolic function in a renewed form, an act of refoundation leading towards other forms of social bonds.
It is from this perspective that we will analyze the demands evoked by this health crisis. What does education represent? How is the educational situation perceived? What conditions would allow education to be renewed?
According to psychoanalysis, we will pay particular attention to speech by presenting educational experiences in order to discuss the heuristic interest of its analysis and the practical relevance of its listening.
Agamben, G. (2020). What Is an Apparatus? And Other Essays. Palo Alto, California: Stanford University Press. Arendt, H. (1961/2016) Between Past and Future. London: Penguin Classics. Cifali, M. (2005). Le lien éducatif : contre-jour psychanalytique. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Freud, S. (1930). Civilization and its discontents. Penguin Classics, 2014 Gori, R. (2015). L'individu ingouvernable. Paris: Éditions Les Liens qui Libèrent. Lajonquière, L. (de) (2017). Do interesse epistemológico dos estudos psicanalítico na educação. In M. Pereira (dir.), Os sintomas na educação de hoje: que fazemos com isso? (p. 32-38). Belo Horizonte : Scriptum. Rassial, J., Bidaud, E. & Lévy, P. (2001). La crise du sujet. Connexions, 76(2), 105-113.
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