Adolescent Identity Formation and the School Environment
Source TitleThe Translational Design of Schools: An Evidence-Based Approach to Aligning Pedagogy and Learning Environments
AffiliationArchitecture, Building and Planning
CitationsAbbassi, N. (2016). Adolescent Identity Formation and the School Environment. Fisher, K (Ed.). The Translational Design of Schools: An Evidence-Based Approach to Aligning Pedagogy and Learning Environments, (1), pp.83-103. Sense Publishers.
Access StatusOpen Access
Forming an identity that sets a firm foundation for adulthood is the central developmental concern and issue of adolescence. Identity formation is a lifelong development which begins from “the baby’s earliest exchange of smiles” (Erikson, 2008, p. 226). Nevertheless, it significantly emerges to individuals’ consciousness or awareness during adolescence due to some significant physical and psychological changes as well as the emergence of new social expectations from the individuals (Adamson & Lyxell, 1996). School is among the important contexts within which adolescent identity formation unfolds. Despite a great deal of theoretical discussions and empirical studies in disciplines of psychology and education, little is known about the ways that school environments might support adolescents in their developmental task of identity formation. Similarly, discussions about identity formation during adolescence seem to be missing when designing a new school or refurbishing an existing one. There is a clear knowledge gap about the impacts of school environments on adolescent identity formation and much of the potential of these environments in supporting this developmental task are left untouched. This chapter presents an interpretation of identity formation that informs creating school environments responsive to this crucial developmental task during adolescence. A school environment was considered in terms of its social, pedagogical, organisational and other key components. Nevertheless, a particular emphasis was placed on the physical component of school environments. Such insights are expected to contribute to an understanding and awareness of identity formation for educational planners, architects, educators and all others involved in the planning, design and decision making and hopefully creating school environments that support adolescent identity formation.
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