RCE Salisbury - 2021

Identity in Education
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Identity in Education
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Salisbury
Contributing organization(s) : 
Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Dr. Brittany Lee Foutz
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Salisbury, Salisbury University, Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution
Dr. Chris Kwaja
Organizational Affiliation: 
Dr. Brian Polkinghorn
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Salisbury, Salisbury University, Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution
Ms. Iye Ogbe, M.S.
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Salisbury
Ms. Brittany Bursa, B.A.
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Salisbury, Cambridge University
Ms. Martina Maya Callen, B.A., B.F.A.
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Salisbury
Mr. Newton Neto, Master in Linguistics
Organizational Affiliation: 
Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de Brasília
Ms. Julia Rohrer, B.A.
Organizational Affiliation: 
June 13-15, 2021 “What forms of identity do students bring into the classroom and how can teachers assistant in learning or encouraging a multicultural education?” for United Nations Human Rights Council, United Nations University and the United Nations
Format of project: 
Zoom Webinar
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Additional resources: 
Day one:

Day two:

Day three:
Geographical & Education Information
United States
Virtual Webinar
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Host of the RCE location:

Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution

1100 Camden Ave, Salisbury, MD 21801 USA
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The Eastern Shore began the twenty-first century with strong growth across multiple economic indicators. The region gained jobs at double the rate of the rest of the state from 2001 to 2007 while also outpacing the state in net business creation and keeping pace in wage growth. However, there are more people experiencing poverty now than there were 30 years ago. Maryland’s poverty rate is 19 percent higher than it was in 1990 – a year that the U.S. economy entered a recession – and there are nearly 200,000 more Marylanders trying to get by on incomes below the federal poverty line. Nearly every county in the state has a higher poverty rate than it had in 1990. While unemployment rates have continued to decline since the 2008 recession, wages often are not high enough to support a family. However, Maryland has a history of supporting effective programs that help lift people out of poverty. Working together, the state can do even better. Maryland is working strongly to support efforts to address the state’s many unmet needs and invest in the success of all Marylanders.

The State of Maryland has an estimated population of 6,052,177 people based on the most recent US census calculations. When broken down into regional populations, the Eastern Shore of Maryland region includes the following nine counties: Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Wicomico, Worcester, and Somerset. The sparsely populated counties of the Eastern Shore of Maryland have a combined population of 454,889 or 13% of the state population.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The core area in the region constitutes the “shore counties” or those that reside either within or on the Chesapeake Bay (watershed) and along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. This includes all of the counties in Delaware, Maryland, and nineteen of the forty counties in Virginia. These physical locations are being subjected to the quickest increases in climate change activities and the poorest residents in these locales will experience severe detrimental impact on their quality of life.

SDG 4 - Quality Education

Secondly, the citizens of the Delmarva Peninsula, by and large, have lower levels of educational attainment and lower incomes. RCE Salisbury will focus in part on communities in these areas that experience the highest high school dropout rates where the social reproduction of poverty is endemic.

SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

The most vulnerable members of this region are in the crosshairs of climate change and educational disadvantage. Both will lead to increased social conflict and with limited resources and limited planning the consequences are dire. These dynamics will impact the foundational resources that people and the institutions built on these resources - depending on for survival, security, and prosperity.
January, 2021
The current ideological discourse is a controversial scenario that inserts among its concerns the problem of human identity: How to participate in its social construction in the midst of globalization processes? What to do to defend, reform, amend or affirm it? What scale of preference in values ​​should conform to it? These are questions that clarify a multiplicity of concerns and that, although they have been a subject subscribed to in theoretical concerns since the very origins of social thought, there is no doubt of their increasing relevance in recent decades.

Identity is an experiential and experimental fact, which has always had a configurative diversity that is carried out through processes of inter-influences, where numerous factors intervene, mainly of social, biological, and geographical order. In the midst of these inter-influences, the needs, interests, preferences, concerns, desires, wills and desires of human beings unfold. Their existence is complemented through difference.

As human identity is socially constructed and is a component that participates in the exercise of ideological and institutional structures, the organizational forms of society create entities, mechanisms and policies for its management and development in one direction or another. Education has been and continues to be one of the spaces that, whether consciously or not, always participates in the process that builds, chooses, designs reproduces, and promotes identity; the most common is seen in the incorporation of history programs into school curricula or in the design and execution of cultural activities dedicated to traditional artistic manifestations.

These three webinars aim to achieve a theoretical approach to the meaning of education for the process of the social construction of identity, in conditions of a world that is globalized, of course, in its nexus with a difference, since this constitutes a complementary reality and contradictory of identity. For this, the authors highlight only those implications that they consider most relevant. The work has been structured in three sections: the first one presents an introduction to identity; the second addresses teacher education and responsibilities; and the third reflects on pedagogical strategies.

This webinar series seeks to strike discussion about the many forms of identities that people construct and negotiate throughout their lives, and how teachers can pedagogically assist students to harness experiences and develop a critical multicultural view on education and their community. The authors also exam key international policies that strive to diminish educational disparities and ensure quality education for all learners. Subsequently, the presentation identifies key attributes and benefits of utilizing non-formal education as a platform for linguistic and cultural mediation; this includes presenting a range of pedagogical tools that viewers can add to their repertoire or a variety of intercultural exchange methods that they can utilize in everyday interactions. This culminates in thematic breakout rooms that allow viewers to engage in a subtopic of their choice, including inclusivity, theater methods, migrant pedagogy, and culturally relevant teaching, to further explore facets of identity-building skills.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
This webinar existed over three days from June 13-15th, 2021 8:00 am - 11:00 am EDT through Zoom.
Size of academic audience: 
Understanding the phenomenon of the university identity of the students will enrich the studies that have been carried out previously on this subject, and will allow the generation of higher quality educational plans, offer better services to the student community and, in the same way, help to generate activities that provide a better identification process, as well as facilitate effective communication between the student and the educational institution, with the possibility of fostering a solid social identity of the university student, in accordance with the mission, vision and values ​​of the higher education institution at the that belongs.
Lessons learned: 
Student identity is a relevant issue for higher education institutions. Understanding the degree of identity of university students serves to generate strategies that produce a greater identification of students towards their university, which promotes institutional growth inside and outside of it.

Strategies for Strengthening Identity

In order to generate a sense of belonging in the university community with its institution, it is necessary to establish dissemination strategies that allow the socialization of the messages so that teachers, administrative personnel, students and civil servants feel part of the same community, this from of the design of an identity program that reflects to those who make up the institution based on university values, with messages that manage to influence the opinions, attitudes, and behaviors of the internal public.

In this way, the strengthening strategies must be framed in three main areas: Organizational communication, public relations, and the media.

Organizational communication: Necessary to enable each of the areas that make up the HEIs to streamline the flow of messages that are given between the members of the same and their environment; or, to influence the opinions, attitudes, and behaviors of the internal public, which will achieve the consolidation of empathy actions in those who make up a university community, since this will be their fundamental mode of social action. Bavelas and Barret cited by Reading (1989,19) more than 20 years ago already pointed out that communication is the essence of organized activity and the basic process from which other functions derive.

Public relations: Indispensable to maintain cordial ties with external audiences, because from these communication ties, trust and friendship ties can be strengthened because a relationship is maintained between the institutions and companies that collaborate directly or indirectly with the HEIs, which will feel involved with the university community.

Media: The dissemination of messages in the search for university identity and a sense of belonging to the institution becomes a core part of the actions that must be undertaken to achieve the objective. For this reason, the selection of the communication media must be made considering their nature, scope, impact, and benefits that they can represent for the goals set, this will allow the messages to reach the entire university community and begin to generate changes in the mentality and image that members have of their university, knowing it and identifying with it.
Key messages: 
Social identity is, above all, a dilemma. A dilemma between the uniqueness of oneself and the similarity with our peers; between the specificity of the own person and the similarity with the others; between the peculiarities of our way of being or feeling and the homogeneity of behavior; between the unique and the multiple.

The student identity is a process that sometimes becomes an issue of great concern to institutions of higher education, which affects the image, prestige and short - term educational quality and long in the student community, both active students as well as graduates.


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UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers