Family Identity

The front page of this collage asks “who is your family?” & represents diversity of all kinds of different people. Similarly, the back page recognizes that a family is built from “the circle of people who love you”. With this visual representation students can feel proud of their personal family structure, rather than feeling misplaced because they do not represent the “ideal” Standard North American family. I focused on the story “Framing the Family Tree: How Teachers Can Be Sensitive to Students’ Family Situations” & “Heathers Moms Got Married”. I believe a family holds identity and school should further encourage students to find their identity, not oppress the structure of a family identity by setting limitations on what creates a family.

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6 thoughts on “Family Identity

  1. Your collage looks amazing, Jesse! I definitely agree that as teachers, we cannot set limitations on what constitutes a family but must validate all family structures. Would you allow your students to make their own collage like this one, representing their family structures, or do you think that topic is too sensitive? Should we encourage students to talk about the type of family they come from or try not to ask them about their private lives?

  2. Thank-you Raquel! I appreciate your positive feedback! I think it would be beneficial to create a similar collage in the classroom because kids love to talk about themselves and this is a chance for them to share a piece of their identity of who they are. I believe the outline is very open ended, so if students do not want to talk about their private lives they are not forced to. Students can make the collage from magazine clippings, their personal family pictures or they could even draw pictures too. 🙂

  3. I love your visual Jesse, and I agree with you when you say that students can create their own collage. It shows that every family is important no matter what the family structure is and teaches them to be proud of where they came from! I do also agree that students may not want to share about their personal life but that their collage could also include their close friends from school as well as that still represents the circle of people that love them.

  4. Thank-you for your positive feedback Tammy! Your comment further expresses the message I hoped to portray in my visual representation. I appreciate hearing colleagues’ thoughts, they help give me insight from a different perspective!

  5. Jesse – I love how you are replying to the comments that people are making!
    Your collage is a great visual representation of the stories you chose to explore, and I agree that it would be a fun and useful activity to do with students to reinforce the idea of diversity in families. Now think more about the dissonances or discomfort that you experienced when reading – what moments created bumps for you, and what does that tell you about yourself?

  6. Thank-you for taking the time to comment and for some good challenging questions! It bothers me how society embeds ‘common sense’ aspects of what a family should look like. Unintentionally we internalize pre-conceived notions limiting family diversity. I feel that in recognizing these aspects I expand my knowledge base. A few years ago I would have not thought to question the standard North American family and now using a critical lens I can reveal overlooked problematic situations such as family diversity.

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