Personality Profile of a Typical Indian Female Primary Teacher: Taking a Psychoanalytic Object Relations Approach

Jyotsana Shukla


Research on Primary teachers fall into two major categories i.e. Pedagogy and the Personal Characteristics of teachers. Empirical evidence indicates that a teacher's personality influences the classroom climate, students' behaviors, and their interpersonal relationships. Although the effect of a teacher's personality on students' psychological well-being has long been stressed in many studies, very little is known about the actual personality characteristics of Indian in-service teachers. The purpose of this study was to allocate the characteristics that best describe the personality of Indian female elementary school teachers through Rorschach Inkblot Test. This study intends to be part of the endeavor of describing and understanding the possible foundations of teachers' behavior. The sample consisted of 100 female elementary teachers, who completed the Rorschach inkblot test. The test responses of all the teachers in the sample were scored using Paul Lerner’s Psychoanalytic Object relations approach (Lerner, 1991). The typical personality profile was then arrived at by combining all the 100 Rorschach test profiles. The typical personality has been discussed in terms of Core Character and Level of Personality Organization, in the light of Object Relations Theory (Lerner, 1991). Holt’s classification of Primary process manifestations (Lerner, 1991) was also applied on the content of the 100 protocols, to better understand her object relations. The findings indicate that the typical Indian primary teacher may be more cognitive than affective in her object relations, which may be a possible indication of a core character of the Obsessive Compulsive nature, with sub features of Hysterical, Depressive, and Schizoid characteristics, of a typical Indian female primary teacher. Implications of the study for students’ behavior and for teacher development are discussed.


personality, Rorschach test, object relations, teacher development, Holt's primary and secondary process manifestations

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