As growing and maturing human beings, we all develop individual identities. Although the genes that were passed on to us by parents have an important determination of who we become, a far greater factor in identity construction is the interaction of the individual with his or her culture, family, environment and the consequences of these interactions.
Rationale for Teaching
Students who engage in the intrapersonal study of identity will investigate the factors that contribute to such things as who we are; why we think and feel the way we do; what we believe; what we decide to become when we grow up; and why we act in particular ways. Essentially, our identities dictate our worldviews. Similarly, the school building brings together students who are all trying to understand both their own identity and the identity of others. In many ways, both tragically and interestingly, students often decide how to see themselves through the lens of their peers. By examining how we think, feel, and act through a close study of others thoughts, feelings, and actions, we are invited to move from the intrapersonal to the interpersonal through empathetic feelings for another’s life. Indeed the social aspect of what students do in school is centered on their need to understand themselves, others, and the relationships that emerge from those interactions. Although the search for identity and the meaning of life from that pursuit is a constant, through close study of identity, students are afforded a special opportunity to understand the meaning, power, and nuances of expression and self-understanding.
- Cultural background affects personal identity
- Outside influences can inhibit identity
- Identity affects relationships, behavior, and world view
- What factors affect the development and suppression of personal identity?
- How does personal identity change or evolve over time?
- How do artists use symbolism to express identity in artworks?