Relational Identities of Students, Families, and Educators: Shaping Educational Pathways

Evangelia March, Janet S. Gaffney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This retrospective study sketched the educational pathways of two seniors attending an alternative high school in an attempt to discern how relational identities of students, families, and educators are defining forces of such pathways. Cumulative school records and special education files were triangulated with interviews of the students, their guardians, and school personnel, beginning with students’ entry into preschool. Events, decisions, and experiences that shaped students’ educational pathways were identified. The interpretive reading of the data revealed the interplay among students’, educators’, and families’ identities and how they sustained, diverted, and redirected the journeys of participating students. Educators are called to be facilitators in the interplays among the student, school, and family identities through the development of committed relationships in school environments. Educators are critical mediators who can help students build resilience against stressors, a sense of belonging, and responsibility for creating lived trajectories that are personally and socially fulfilling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-16
Number of pages14
JournalRemedial and Special Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • alternative education
  • case studies
  • pathways
  • secondary
  • systemic issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Relational Identities of Students, Families, and Educators: Shaping Educational Pathways'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this