Are you ready to grow? What's holding you back?

Are you ready to grow?    What's holding you back?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Seeking an Identity

In a recent class I took at PSU with Dr. Michael Fischler, Social Behavior in a Diverse Society, I was touched by many new things I learned about people. But, one aspect that has returned to me many times was my understanding that it is a persons natural instinct to seek identity. There are many ways in which we identify ourselves; teacher, mother, artist. Those who feel a lack of identity, for example those students who struggle academically, are not successful in sports or other activities and maybe deal with a difficult home life will search for a way to identify themselves, even if negatively. They will work to save face.

I mention this because as I read through Siemens, Knowing Knowledge, this idea surfaced again. Consider his statement; "There is something rewarding about having an idea, owning it, being recognized for it. Even when we share, we attach identity to what we have created. In creating knowledge, we experience life, identity, hope. To contribute to the public space, to be recognized, to be a part of something bigger, these motivations drive us."

I feel strongly that as a teacher, community member, mother that it is my responsibility to help students find their identity. Who are they, what do they stand for, and how do they present themselves to others? Although spaces like Facebook and MySpace have caused a lot of controversy in schools and communities because of the way in which some children are presenting themselves, could it be that they are struggling to find their identity? If taught and supported couldn't these public spaces be a place for them to discover their positive identity? Why aren't we teaching children how to profile themselves positively, I believe they are looking for that guidance.

2 comments:

Jeff Utecht said...

"Although spaces like Facebook and MySpace have caused a lot of controversy in schools and communities because of the way in which some children are presenting themselves, could it be that they are struggling to find their identity? If taught and supported couldn't these public spaces be a place for them to discover their positive identity? Why aren't we teaching children how to profile themselves positively, I believe they are looking for that guidance."

EXACTLY! I agree 100%. We run from these places because we don't understand them, but this is where students are creating their digital profiles...profiles that you and I started creating only later in like they are creating in MS or HS. These places can be very powerful, both positively and negatively. I just gave a presentation to our whole HS student body titled: "Creating your online profile: Who do you want to be." It was about Internet Safety, but through the concept that you are building your profile (identity) every time you post something. What do you want that identity to be? How do you want to be seen on the web? It's a powerful world that for today's students they have to be there. This is where jobs come from, this is where universities are. We don't get it, but for them it's not a choice. They need to create their online profile and we need to teach them how to do it in a positive way.

Great post!

taoman said...

I took a class with Dr. Fischler, I believe in 1997, at Plymouth. I got a lot out of his discussions and regard him as an inspiration to some aspects of my life. Glad to see he continued teaching and is still inspiring people.