The main focus of this study will be to explore the importance of educators building relationships with students and their influence on identity development. Modern times have never experienced most of the challenges presented recently worldwide affecting education and the learning communities developed from the portable classrooms across campus to the auditorium lecture halls of our fine Universities and Colleges. There’s simultaneous gifts and burdens being placed on all involved in learning. On one hand we have the ability to connect with our students and their parents in real time over the internet in times of crisis, so the learning keeps happening despite a global pandemic. At the same time, however, we see social distancing and political uprising causing more and more people to feel disconnected from each other and experience more and more symptoms like conditions related to mental health concerns. The role of a teacher can be very similar to one of an employer for students. The expectations and social norms created in a classroom setting can very well set the stage for students after high school regardless of if they go on to college or not. How do we determine the best ways to embolden strong positive relationships with students that can begin as the seed in a classroom and eventually blossom into positive attitudes about learning and taking part in creating mutually respectful learning and living areas around us?
What you will want to do as you develop the topic is to look at literature on the concept of identity development across the school years, specifically, elementary and middle school. What are the components of and influences on identity development? And then explore literature describing how teachers, counselors, coaches, etc. impact identity development. The focus is on one’s identity as a “learner,” so that focus might also guide the search for informative literature on the topic.
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