Identity means cultivating one’s individual imprint in this world as well as growing one’s knowledge and appreciation of one’s heritage and traditions. Identity means fostering confidence through the cultivation of “voice.”
What I mean by voice is the pursuit of uniqueness, of selfhood, of integrity. Voice expresses one’s individuality, consciousness, and character. Voice is one’s signature in the world. It encompasses creativity, style, passion, and skill. Voice stands for developing one’s modes of expression and it serves as the vehicle for one’s moral growth. Voice is a literary term, but I am stretching it to embrace all aspects of a child’s development.
Identity formation is happening all the time—at all stages of child development, in every new grade level, in response to both significant and subtle changes at home, in one’s neighborhood, at school, with one’s own body, and within one’s family.