Identity is a deep and complex construct that shapes our lives in countless ways. It is a combination of factors—including culture, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, socio-economic status, sexual orientation and more—that influence how we think of ourselves and interact with the world around us. Each person’s sense of identity is unique – no two people will have exactly the same experience or perspective.
The Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards provide five anchor standards to help educators foster healthy identities:
1) Personal Identity Development: Students are given space to explore their own identities as individuals and members of groups. This allows them to develop an understanding of who they are in relation to others and make informed choices about what values they hold dear;
2) Critical Consciousness: Through critical analysis and discourse students gain insight into how history has shaped society today which helps them understand issues related to power dynamics between different social groups;
3) Intercultural Understanding: With appreciation for diversity comes an understanding that every individual’s story matters. Having this knowledge helps form effective alliances across differences;
Define what shapes our identities; Understand the five identity anchor standards in the Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards
4) Participatory Citizenship: Through engagement in activities such as service learning projects, youth can become active citizens by utilizing their collective voices to effect positive change;
5) Ethical Practice & Advocacy: Working from personal belief systems helps each person create strategies for ethical behavior when interacting with peers and promoting social justice initiatives within communities.
Identity has many characteristics that affect relationships within school buildings and classrooms both positively and negatively. For example, if a student identifies themselves as being LGBTQ+, they may feel unsupported or even discriminated against by their teachers or peers due to heteronormative concepts still prevalent in some schools today. On the other hand if there is sufficient representation among faculty/staff (teachers of color), strong curriculum materials that honor diverse attitudes/stories/backgrounds (ethnic studies classes), open dialogue (anti-bullying clubs or assemblies), safe spaces (gender neutral bathrooms), etc., it can enable students from all backgrounds – regardless of race/class/gender -to feel accepted as part of the school community where self-expression is encouraged and celebrated along with collaboration on solving shared problems together which leads towards success at school for everyone involved!