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Multicultural education as an emotional situation: practice encountering the unexpected in teacher education

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Juxtaposing the concepts of screen memory, counter-transference and the holding environment within psychoanalytic theory, this essay explores the author’s emotional experience, who begins the exploration by asking several questions. What happens to a teacher’s emotional world and her consciousness in the process of trying to shift students’ consciousness in multicultural education? What is the psychical consequence for teachers of colour who must listen to racist discourse as a precondition to convincing those to do otherwise? How does a teacher’s emotional world influence student learning and development of critical consciousness? In working through her emotional response aroused by the students’ questions in her multicultural education classes, the author discusses the importance of a conversation between psychoanalysis and critical multicultural pedagogies and why the conversation matters.

Keywords: counter-transference; holding environment; psychoanalysis and education; screen memories; teachers’ emotional world

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 2, 2014

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