middle school students in classroom

Role of Educational Instances in Adolescents’ Identity Development

Is there any other better place to shape your personality than school?

Education and other activities at school play a huge role in shaping your identity. That’s more of who you are, and who you will be in the future.

Resilient and more reflective adolescents build very strong personalities. And what can be more interesting than knowing you have a strong personality?

Though developing a stable identity for most adolescents is challenging. That’s due to migration and individualization. Most of them keep traveling from one state to another. Especially those transitioning from high school to college.

middle school students in classroom

Schools adolescents go through

High school and college are the most impactful institutions for every adolescent. While in these institutions, teachers help students explore their identity implications. This will impact who they are, and they will become. The best thing about this phase of life is that you are guided on what to do.

It’s through forming these identities that set a firm foundation for adulthood. Many theoretical discussions in class support the unique characteristics of adolescents. The truth about identity development is that it’s never achieved at one stage of life.

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Students’ identity development comprises three main elements. One of them is how you were raised. That’s more of the values you were taught. Then, there are your psychological needs, defenses, and your interests.

And lastly, the social and cultural context within which you reside. All these elements are present in every education setup.

Below are different ways education instances influence the formation of adolescents’ personalities or identities.

Teachers’ reinforcement through word of mouth

Teachers impact adolescents’ identities through word of mouth. These messages impact the lives of students in different ways. Besides teaching, they take time and speak to students regularly.

Most teachers focus on general issues affecting the students. This is what inspires the students to change their ways.

Every teacher has expectations on how students should conduct themselves while in class. That’s why they are very keen on adolescents and what’s needed of them in class participation.

With the student-centered learning approach, teachers assign roles to the students. This could be a group leader in a discussion or the class prefect. This has a huge effect on building the student’s personality.

Students who perform certain roles must conduct themselves as future leaders. And this is what shapes their identities to be better than the existing leaders. In addition, the existing literature books provide an in-depth analysis of how adolescents should conduct themselves.

Explorative learning

Explorative learning supports adolescents’ identity development in different ways. This could be organized trips to expose the students to new places. New cultures teach students new values. They start reflecting on their self-understanding.

And this ultimately leads to a new identity position. Students love interacting with others. And you can be assured they will learn something new.

Most schools adopt a team-based learning structure for explorative learning. In this case, adolescents must follow standardized procedures for each task. In most schools, after-school clubs and other extracurricular classes are provided to help students explore who they are.

When exposed to these activities, they discover their hidden identities. And that’s how they start identifying with unfamiliar positions. They also discover hidden talents that are very crucial in their personality development. This is what is collectively referred to as in-breadth exploration.

Supportive classroom environment

Most adolescents often develop an identity crisis when there is no favorable environment for them to be who they are. When depressed, they start questioning their sense of self, which may affect who they will grow up to be.

Maybe, their family environment is not so conducive. Supportive classroom development stimulates the student’s identity. They feel confident in whatever they try.

They get time to reflect on their feelings. Also, they develop strategies to help them overcome challenges. To discover who you are as an adolescent, you need a lot of courage. The process involves many risks and discomfort, especially at the college level.

A warm teacher-student relationship should help the students feel assured of what they are doing. In this case, adolescents can share their doubts and make mistakes. This is what builds a strong identity for the students.


Education instances play a vital role in shaping adolescents’ identities. They transform the way they think and their perception of different activities. This shapes who the students are and will become in the future.  

Author’s Bio

David C. Santana

David C. Santana writes academic papers. He finds his real happiness in helping students overcome their writing difficulties. He’s popular for his editing and proofreading work too.