Youth identity – wellbeing and school engagement
Speakers: Dr Marnee Shay, Associate Professor Grace Sarra and Professor Annette Woods
This seminar will encourage discussion about the role of schools in identity affirming and formation for diverse young people. Identity as a field of study can be widely contested and is often conflated with various political and social ideologies that privilege dominant ways of knowing and marginalised minority groups. Identity can be viewed through multiple lenses including philosophical, anthropological, biological, sociological, psychological and relational; making it complex and challenging for schools to actively pursue a role in identity development of young people, particularly in a fast changing, technological and diasporic world.
We will share our work and findings from a national study in Australia on the identities, wellbeing and health of Indigenous young people in diverse school settings that aimed to privilege the voices of young people to gain their perspectives on what roles their identities play in their wellness. Through using creative, youth centred and culturally affirming ways of exploring the topic with Indigenous young people, we were able to gain insights from young people about their views, voices and visions on maintaining strong identities and the ways in which they want schools to support these.