Friday, August 3, 2012

Application of Sigmund Freud's Theory of Psychosexual Development

     I forgot to include on my previous post that Sigmund Freud is the father of psychoanalytic psychology. This is the reason why his theory is also referred to as psychoanalytic theory of development. Psychoanalytic school of psychology by the way adheres to the existence of unconscious mental processes (i.e. Libido) which influence the individual's behavior in various indirect ways.

(You can read my previous post here: Sigmund Freud's Psychosexual Stages of Development)

     Going back to the applications of the theory in the classroom setting, I honestly find it hard to find how a sexually oriented theory be applied inside the classroom. For this reason, I will not list the applications like I usually do rather explain some of the aspects of the theory in relation to teaching.

     Freud actually gave the idea about "inner conflicts" that can affect one's behavior. Some psychologists, like Erik Erikson (watch out for my post about him, he is also one of my favorites), adapted this idea but changed this from less sexual to more social in nature. The conflicts or crises are important in a sense that they must be solved in order to successfully and normally proceed to the next level of our development, and to avoid fixation or maladjustment.

     For instance, our pupils/students may be categorized into Phallic, Latency or Genital stage of psychosexual development. Our role as teachers therefore, is to assist our pupils/students solve or go through their inner conflicts on these stages. We can actually help if we give them ample attention in their certain needs.

     For example, play is an outlet among children where their sexual drive is being directed in the Latency Stage. If this will be suppressed, their will be a possibility for the child to fixate, or will continue to play even inappropriate for his/her age as an adult in the future.

     Among our pubescent/adolescent students, let us be more responsible in discussing about topics regarding sexuality. We must be more sensitive and careful because we know that on this stage, our students are going through a lot of crises and confusion. Let us teach them to be sexually responsible by explaining to them the sexual changes they are going through, and the consequences of their actions. Let us teach them to be more critical and reflective to clarify their inner issues. Let us not forget to offer our hands if they need our advice or to collaborate with their parents. This is the so-called sex education.

     As my conclusion, the application of Freud ideas to teaching and learning is that it gives us an explanation of some of our pupils/students' behavior that are manifested inside the classroom. However, the specific application of this theory in the teaching-learning process is not yet fully studied or experimented compared to other theories. What I presented here are just some of the aspects in which this theory can be applied. As teachers, the decision is still upon us on how will we use this knowledge to assist our students. If you can add more of the applications, I will greatly appreciate it.


  1. Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.

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