‘There is more to me’: Creating preferred identity report cards at school — Tarn Kaldor

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Schools hold great potential for countering the reproduction of constructed norms. However, prescriptive discourses of ‘success’ and ‘normality’ can get in the way. Critiquing these constructs and making visible their effects is a fundamental obligation of narrative therapy. Building on the work of Paulo Freire, this paper illuminates some potential hazards and limitations of the dominant forms of measurement prevalent in education systems. The More to Me project seeks to assist young people to broaden or contest the thinly described identity conclusions commonly recorded in formal identity documents such as school report cards. It explores ways to enrich young people’s stories of identity and self-definitions, via the co-creation of counter documents. More to Me report cards are a preferred identity document in which young people determine the criteria, nominate witnesses to their chosen identity stories and are recognised as co-researchers and experts. It is hoped that the creation of these counter documents contributes to the recognition of young people’s knowledges, competence and contributions.