This project aims to establish ways in which analytical psychology can contribute to current learning theory, and where appropriate, vice versa.
Chapter 1 concerns the identification of four representative groups of learning theories, ranging from behaviourist to cultural. Learning theories may also be dependent on the environments in which they are applied – natural or artificial, infancy, adulthood, education, and occupation. Our main focus will be on adults.
Having established the nature of learning theories, the chapter turns to a review of Jung’s and current post-Jungians’ engagement with learning. This serves to show that there is increasing activity in this field, with the potential to make further substantial impact.
Chapters 2 – 4 offer critical accounts of key Jungian concepts and processes. These accounts are aided by forming analogies from general (mainly cognitive and evolutionary) psychology. There are several reasons for this step. First, current general psychology is converging in certain respects (such as dual pathways and an anticipatory stance for perception) so that strong analogies may be possible. Second, it is a means of promoting a common language and understanding between analytical psychology and the various schools of psychology on which learning theorists draw.
Chapters 5 – 8 comprise the four groups of learning theory through critical accounts of their leading proponents (Behaviousists, Piaget, Vygotsky and Bateson), in comparison with Jung. Points of engagement with analytical psychology are identified and used to enhance the learning theory and provide joint process models.
Chapter 9 provides a concluding analysis and synthesis. It starts by developing the idea of lines of development. It then identifies recurring themes (learning processes) from chapters 5-8. These themes are placed in a structure that acts as a new frame for learning. The project is then evaluated and opportunities for further development identified.