Education as an Ethical Act – Contributions of Self Psychology

During the last decade self psychology has offered a conceptual platform and an ethical structure, a “republic of spirit for human beings and the world”, while being committed to act “for the absolute acceptance of every human being in his/her totality… to recognize and accompany him/her along his/her human struggle, without hesitation and without judgment” (Kulka,2018)[1].
This platform facilitated a renewed understanding of education as an act of ethical commitment. This perspective nurtures the child – pupil, to be a subject who believes in good and acts to enhance it, as part of the expression of human solidarity, ethical responsibility, and commitment to others and otherness.
The Israel Association for Self Psychology and the Study of Subjectivity, together with ‘Anata’ – a non profit organization, funding therputic services in the city of Lod, set out to offer support and professional supervision for the educational staff in the Lod school system. This initiative anchors the research and teaching of the wisdom of humanity, as it is expressed in activities of individuals and educational teams in varied educational settings – day care, kindergartens, schools, informal education, etc.
During recent years, several schools have received Staff training and professional support. This year the project will also include accompanying educational teams and parents in their community in one of Lod’s neighborhoods.
The staff training is provided by professional consultants. The senior advisors have a professional background in emotional treatment in addition to their experience in educational work. The consulting team acts as a learning and supporting community, combining theoretical and experiential learning through research, as well as through case studies from the field. These forums provide the participating educational staff, the opportunity to develop their individual and their shared professional identities, in the framework of shared ethical concepts.
Processes of selfobject presence (within the community of advisors, educators, organizations, etc.) constitute the basis for the teachers’ selfobject presence for their pupils. Introducing Selfobjectness to teams, systems and interpersonal relations, presents a challenge. How is a meta-personal presence achieved? Thesel forums are continuously developing modules of implementation of a meta-personal presence, aiming to reach and mend individual, group, communal and societal fractures.
The learning and reflection process within these forums, has facilitated conceptualizations which encourage understanding, articulating and actualizing an in-depth pedagogy. Forming an organizational-soul, promoting a group-system introspection, and encouraging development of an authentic professional identity of the educational staff.

Hani Greenberg
Dr. Ety Hagay