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    Constructing Identities with Young People: Rethinking Educational Practice. A Performance Piece

    O'Grady, Grace (2014) Constructing Identities with Young People: Rethinking Educational Practice. A Performance Piece. In: Equality and Curriculum in Education. A Collection Of Invited Essays. National University of Ireland Maynooth, pp. 21-36.

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    One of the aims of Irish Education is “to nurture a sense of personal identity...” (Charting our Education Future, 1995, p.10). Thomson and Hall (2008) confirm that schools are places where children and teenagers are continually engaged in identity formation, but where formal opportunities to play with and reflect on this subject are not available to them (p.148). Personal and Social Development Programmes are cited as far back as the Role1 document and the Guidelines2 document as an essential part of guidance provision in second level schools in Ireland. To date, this aspect of guidance has not been developed as a curricular programme. While a focus on identity formation is part of the SPHE curriculum at both Junior and Senior Cycle, this programme and personal development programmes in education generally (Ryan, 1997) are informed by humanistic conceptions of the person and therefore fall prey to much of the critique of, what is referred to in some UK publications as, the ‘therapeutic culture’ of schools (Ecclestone and Hayes, 2009, Furedi, 2004, Craig, 2007); a culture that can remain blind to the constitutive power of discourse. This paper offers a participants’ perspective on the pedagogical work I carried out as part of a larger CAP (Creative Analytical Practice/Processes) ethnographic study, using arts-based activities to provide a creative space for a group of Irish Senior Cycle students to explore narratives of self/identity (O’ Grady, 2012). I firstly give a brief overview of that work with the young people situating it in the research context. I then present the voices of the students as they dialogue with their teachers at an exhibition of their creative artefacts. In this ‘Performance’ there is an opening up to new discursive school practice so I title it, ‘Rethinking Educational Practice’ and close the paper with musings about the age old ‘trickster’, who has been reclaimed as a metaphor of transformation in our classrooms (Conroy & Davis, 2002).

    Item Type: Book Section
    Keywords: Constructing Identities; Young People; Rethinking Educational Practice; Performance Piece;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Education
    Item ID: 5781
    Depositing User: Grace O'Grady
    Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2015 12:30
    Publisher: National University of Ireland Maynooth
    Refereed: Yes
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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