The self, the spirit and the social being: The formation of adolescent identity within community Wesley College at Clunes

Year: 2001

Author: Lloyd, Doug, McDonough, Sharon

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper will explore the impact of a Wesley College educational initiative upon the formation of identity in adolescents. Year Nine students from Wesley college, a large, predominantly metropolitan based private college, spend eight weeks in a residential learning village situated in the small rural town of Clunes, where they explore the factors connected with the domains of self, spirit and social being within the context of living as a member of a community.

This research is part of a natural experiment where a metropolitan-based college implements a semi-structured curriculum in a small country town. The results demonstrate that young people living and working in this community develop a stronger sense of their adolescent identity. In particular the curriculum addresses issues of personal learning styles, shared experience and purpose and an understanding of identity within a broader community.

The research provides some understandings about an educational approach where a college embeds itself in a small rural community, through which students develop a greater understanding of self, community and their roles in communities.