The audiobook reviewed here is ‘The Education of Children’ by Alfred Adler. The book is narrated by Robin Lawson who reads expressively and at a moderate pace. Adler is considered to be one of the founders of psychoanalysis and he has had a profound influence on the subsequent development of psychotherapy and counselling. In this book as the title suggests, he writes about the education of children. I found the work a little surprising. Prior to coming across this title I had not thought of Adler as someone with a particular interest in the education of children although knowing his importance in the development of psychotherapy. Educational psychology on the other hand is a vast subject which comprises multiple domains of knowledge that have been developing over a considerable period of time. Adler’s work consists as with the work of other psychotherapists including Jung, Freud and Winnicott of his ideas and understanding discussed in the context of his experience without obvious recourse to empirical evidence. The book consists of a considerable number of generalisations and in some cases these are followed by educational recommendations from Adler although these same recommendations are now more than 80 years old. I was interested in the book for the insights it gives into Adler’s interpretation of child development. He discusses the concept of the inferiority complex, a concept which has had considerable influence in popular culture. He also discusses the importance of birth order on subsequent psychological development and interestingly there is contemporary research in this area. I found that the book was well narrated, the ideas clearly elaborated on by Adler but that there were many generalisations, the material was over 80 years old and there was an absence of empirical data. The strength of the book is in conveying Adler’s theoretical understanding of psychology as well as giving some insights into Adler’s thinking.
Alfred Adler. The Education of Children. Blackstone Audiobooks. Narrated by Robin Lawson. 1991.
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