This paper outlines the theoretical antecedents and underpinnings of psychodynamic pedagogy. Central to such a theoretical perspective are concepts such as emotional memory, affective sensitivity, mirroring and empathy. The case is argued that teaching and learning are enhanced when teachers are able to create in students a dynamic between their cognitive and affective processes. Hence the need for teachers to be empathically attuned to their students' thinking and feeling states. The nature of empathy within educational contexts is explained, together with its significant function in psychodynamic pedagogy. Furthermore the teaching principles and some research issues arising from this theoretical perspective are outlined and discussed.