Individual Psychology in the Teaching of Foreign Language and Literature: A New Approach in Foreign Language Pedagogy and an Adlerian Interpretation of Selected Works by Theodor Storm

Open Access
Sachau, Birger
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
November 05, 2004
Committee Members:
  • Daniel Leonhard Purdy, Committee Chair/Co-Chair
  • Sandra J. Savignon, Committee Member
  • Barton W Browning, Committee Member
  • Michael Hager, Committee Member
  • Alfred Adler
  • community
  • Gemeinschaft
  • German
Alfred Adler’s Individual Psychology constitutes an ideal tool to understand and to reinstate the balance between matters of the individual and matters of the community within the framework of critical democracy. The education of a responsible and truly democratic citizen starts in the family and especially in school. The present dissertation will show the necessity of Adlerian psychology in the field of teaching foreign/second language and literature at the beginning of the twenty-first century. I want to prove that with the implementation of Adler’s IP at US-American colleges we can change our students into well-rounded, socially encouraged, critical, and curious learners and fellow human beings. Furthermore, IP constitutes a critical tool for the depth-psychological interpretation of selected works by the North-German poet and novelist Theodor Storm and their didactic application to the foreign/second language classroom situation. In both parts, the equilibrium between individuality and community will be analyzed and put to the test. Thereby, the unnecessary and unfortunate gap between linguistic and language aspects on the one hand and literary criticism on the other will be significantly narrowed by my approach.