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Adolescents’ experiences of identity development in schooling

Hayley Davies and John O’Neill

Teachers, schools, and the wider education system have a responsibility to nurture young people’s identity development and to optimise youth wellbeing. For the study, 10 adolescents shared their experiences and perspectives of identity development and the extent to which their identity impacted on their wellbeing and subsequent learning experiences. The adolescents’ perceptions of identity directly informed the way they felt about themselves and thus impacted directly on their wellbeing. Identity and wellbeing had implications for learners’ dispositions and motivation to learn; students who had a positive sense of identity and wellbeing felt more positively about their learner identity and were more engaged in learning.

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